The Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) will use McLaren's Formula One technology in a bid to ease air traffic congestion at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).

McLaren, in collaboration with Britain's National Air Traffic Control Service (NATS), has developed a software which enables controllers to optimize the flow of air and ground traffic at airports. The software generates an “optimum approach pattern to the fastest journer to the right gate; delivering and picking up passengers and then departing as quickly as possible.”

The DOTC said NATS provides air traffic navigation services to the world's busiest single- and dual-runway airports: London Gatwick handles 53 air traffic movements (ATMs) per hour and over 250,000 flights per year; and London Heathrow handles 90 ATMs per hour and over 470,000 flights per year.

In this regard, DOTC's PhP 66 million NAIA Runway Optimization project was awarded to the joint venture between NATS Services Limited and Schema Konsult, Inc. Under the contract’s 12-month span, DOTC says the group will aim to increase hourly ATMs from 40 to 60, by determining the optimal configuration for the airport’s intersecting runways.

“We are excited to work with one of the world’s best firms in the industry towards optimizing NAIA’s runway capacity. With NATS – which has worked on the Dubai, Singapore, and Heathrow Airports – we can expect safer, more efficient operations and much less flight delays and cancellations,” said DOTC Secretary Jun Abaya.

The DOTC adds that the road map for short- and long-term improvements will focus on the following:

1. Optimization of runway capacity by cutting aircrafts’ occupancy times.

2. Developing Air Traffic Controllers’ (ATC) surveillance capabilities through technology and determining needed alterations to access points.

3. Maximization of available airspace by reducing restrictions and making procedural improvements to tighten intervals between aircraft movements.

In the first 6 months, NATS will conduct a comprehensive evaluation of the following:

1. Airport’s current airspace, runway, and terminal capacities.

2. Air traffic and surface operations.

3. Runway access points.

4. ATC training for the first six (6) months.