While American is touting it more as a “green” initiative (and it certainly is one), the airline has begun testing some important technology that will help pave the way to the Next Generation “NextGen” of the air traffic control system.  American will test the latest GPS-based navigational technologies on its Miami-Paris services using a Boeing 767-300.  American’s press release on the topic can be viewed here.

The press release tends to focus on single-engine taxi and reduced fuel burn associated with more direct flying to reduce greenhouse emissions.  But the real benefit is moving us along the way towards an air traffic control system that actually works.  Reduced fuel burn is simply a side effect, but it certainly benefits us all.  It’s about time!