The airline has deployed Flyways AI to help dispatchers to enhance the predictability and flow of airline traffic


Flyways AI provides dispatchers with new tools to make informed decisions quickly. (Credit: Alaska Airlines)

Alaska Airlines and Airspace Intelligence have partnered to use artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to optimise air traffic flow.

Under the partnership, the airline has deployed Flyways AI to help dispatchers to optimise routes and enhance the predictability and flow of airline traffic.

Flyways AI is a 4D mapping, predictive and recommendation platform for commercial air operations. The AI-powered platform enables dispatchers to make informed decisions quickly by providing new tools.

The platform is designed to predict future scenarios and manage exceptions network-wide, using machine learning models of the National Airspace System.

Alaska Airlines public affairs and sustainability vice president Diana Birkett Rakow said: “Flyways AI has transformed how Alaska Airlines approaches route planning and optimisation, enabling our highly skilled dispatchers to work even smarter to deliver the safest and most efficient routes to our pilots, saving time and carbon emissions, mitigating congestion and creating a better experience for our guests.

“Airspace Intelligence is a true partner in implementing Flyways to deliver results in Alaska’s operating environment for innovation, safety and sustainability.”

Alaska Airlines and Airspace Intelligence have signed a multi-year contract for the use of Flyways AI, following an initial six-month trial programme.

During the pilot programme, the platform provided flight prediction information to Alaska’s dispatchers to enable them to make recommendations for rerouting flights to prevent issues like congested airspace and bad weather.

Flyways platform is designed to autonomously assess the operational safety, air traffic control (ATC) compliance, and efficiency of an airline’s planned and active flights.

After finding a better route around turbulence, the system sends actionable recommendations to flight dispatchers, who take a final call in line with the existing Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) protocols.

The platform predicts the impact of weather, traffic and other constraints of flights, by using prediction models of the US air space created by Airspace Intelligence.

Alaska Airlines flight operations strategy and innovation director Pasha Saleh said: “Artificial intelligence and machine learning are among the top drivers of technology today and, for the first time, have been applied to the airline flight planning environment.

“Alaska’s use of Flyways in just six months, even with significantly depressed flying due to COVID-19, enabled us to save 480,000 gallons of fuel and avoid 4,600 tons of carbon emissions.”