New technology allows air traffic controllers, pilots to communicate via text

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Friday, May 22, 2015

CHICAGO (WLS) -- New technology allows air traffic controllers to text airline pilots in an effort to make air travel safer and more efficient.

For the past two years, the FAA has been testing the new technology known as DataComm.

Officials say texting information, such as flight plans between tower and cockpit, speeds up the process of clearing flights for takeoff.

Chicago-based United Airlines is among those testing the new technology.

They say it's saving 6-8 minutes per flight, which also translates into fuel efficiency.

The program is expected to be in place at more than 50 U.S. airports by next year.