Houston Air Traffic controllers have begun using automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B) technology to efficiently manage aircraft over the Gulf of Mexico.
US Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said the new satellite-based technology would help the FAA improve the safety of flights over the Gulf, even as air traffic increases.
"This will save time and money for aircraft operators and passengers and reduce our carbon footprint," he said.
The new technology will allow the FAA to provide new, more-direct routes over the Gulf of Mexico, improving the efficiency of aircraft operations while using less fuel.
The FAA, which first established an ADS-B prototype in Alaska, said the new technology was expected to be available nationwide by 2013.