The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has awarded a $2.77m joint contract to ITT Exelis and GE's Naverus for the development of NextGen satellite-based procedures for aircraft navigation.
Ray LaHood, Secretary of the US Department of Transport, said: "NextGen will help deliver an environmentally friendly, more efficient travelling experience for the flying public."
The contract includes development of Required Navigation Performance (RNP) approach procedures into five airports in the US.
The airports include Ted Stevens Anchorage International, James M. Cox Dayton International, Charles B. Wheeler Downtown Airport in Kansas City, General Mitchell International in Milwaukee and Syracuse Hancock International.
The companies will design, implement and maintain ten procedures - two for each airport - and the work will be monitored by the FAA to ensure safety and environmental steps are conducted properly.
The FAA, which has developed 305 RNP procedures, said that the contract will further support its work to design RNP procedures for airports across the country.
FAA administrator Michael Huerta said: "Aircraft using RNP approaches make a more direct and efficient approach into the airport, also decreasing fuel burn."
The contract award follows the selection of ITT Exelis and GE's Naverus under FAA's System Engineering 2020 contract, which will help the agency develop its NextGen procedures.
FAA's NextGen initiative is a collaborative effort to enhance the air traffic control, help airlines improve their in-time performance and cut emissions from aircraft flying in the country's airspace.
The NextGen initiative comprises the designing of efficient alternative routes that can be used during bad weather conditions, which affects normal arrival and departure paths.
It also includes creation of departure and arrival routes that align airplanes on preferred paths, further reducing the miles flown by aircrafts.
Image: Nextgen satellite-based procedures will assist the aircrafts to fly directly to their destinations. Photo courtesy of: FAA