DOT chief touts FedEx airplane routing system

Foxx said in a blog post on the Department of Transportation’s (DOT) website on Monday that grouping the takeoffs of airplanes with other similar models allows FedEx to boost productivity without building new infrastructure at the Memphis airport.

“As a result, the company has eliminated departure gate holds and departure queues, reducing taxi times per flight by almost three minutes during the morning departure rush,” Foxx wrote. “Not only does this increase the hub's capacity by nine flights per hour; it also results in fuel savings, and more minutes to sort customer packages. That means that aircraft stay safely separated, and you get your packages sooner.”

Foxx said FedEx and the Memphis airport “have been on the forefront of implementing the Federal Aviation Administration's Next Generation (NextGen) air transportation initiative.

“NextGen has made possible a significant improvement in FedEx's ability to move airplanes in and out of Memphis,” Foxx said, citing a 17 percent increase on airplane traffic at the Memphis airport since the ReCat system had been implemented.

Foxx said the Memphis airplane routing system was “exactly the sort of innovation we will need to keep developing if we want to make American transportation more efficient even as the number of people and the volume of freight we move increase in the coming years.”