Frequently Asked Questions
CLT: How do I receive the expected runway and other data?
IF YOU SEE, “The information for this aircraft is not available for public viewing” this means that information about this aircraft is blocked at the request of the aircraft operator. If you are the owner or operator of a blocked aircraft you may submit a request to allow information for your aircraft to be viewed by specific Pacer users.
REQUEST A WAIVER by writing to email@example.com. The requestor must provide the callsigns of their ‘blocked’ aircraft and the Pacer account email addresses for the persons they want to receive the data. Once the waiver request is completed, a MITRE Pacer team member will contact the requestor to verify the information. After approval, the designated Pacer users will be able to receive the ATD-2 surface scheduler data for the waived callsigns.
NASA has implemented a prototype surface scheduler at CLT. The scheduler continually updates the departure schedule based upon available information from airline and general aviation flights. When you use Pacer to submit departure intent for a flight, the scheduler returns three pieces of information.
Expected departure runway: This is the runway ATC has indicated that you will most likely be assigned. It is subject to change.
Target Takeoff Time (TTOT): This is the time the surface scheduler has calculated you will be ‘wheels up’ based upon the latest departure intent (when you will be ready to taxi) time you submitted. The TTOT considers all of the traffic at CLT around your time of departure, so it is a good indication of how long it will take you to get airborne from the time you leave the ramp.
Traffic Management Initiatives (TMIs): The bold text will be shown based upon the condition in italics…
How do I submit my arrival information?
Pacer does not provide a way to submit a time for a flight destined to one of the ski country airports. We do not have that feature currently implemented. You can only submit times for departures from the eight ski country airports and the other airports in the dropdown.
For arrivals we get accurate departure times from the FAA systems which allows Pacer to adjust arrival values in the near term (next few hours). We may consider adding the ability to submit times for flights inbound to ski country in future releases.
It is important to remember that Pacer is not a slot or reservation program tool. It is only to provide you with an awareness of how busy the airport may be based upon available FAA and Pacer provided data. Although we encourage departure entries for the Ski Country airports, you do not have submit one, and submitting one will not give you any preference.
How do I make Pacer look and behave like an app?
How do I modify a departure intent time or delete the flight if we cancel?
1. You can update or delete a departure intent submission by clicking on the menu button at top-left (three horizontal bars) and selecting My Flights.
2. On the My Flights page tap on the Edit Departure Intent button.
3. That takes you to the Edit Flight page where you can select a new time or delete the entry for the flight by tapping the red, Remove Departure Intent button. Then tap Remove on the confirmation dialog. The orange button only removes the flight from your list – it does not remove the entry from Pacer. Neither button has any effect on your FAA flight plan.
How is Pacer different than CDM?
The short answer is that the Pacer functions (view demand/capacity data and provide intent data) are a component of CDM with the goal of increasing GA/BA information exchange. The goal of Pacer is to complement the capabilities that the airlines and some GA/BA operators have to directly exchange information with the FAA’s Traffic Flow Management System (TFMS).
From the FAA’s CDM web page, underlines added (https://cdm.fly.faa.gov/): CDM is a joint government/industry initiative aimed at improving air traffic flow management through increased information exchange among aviation community stakeholders. CDM is an operating paradigm where ATFM decisions are based on a shared, common view of the NAS and an awareness of the consequences these decisions may have on the system and its stakeholders.
The airlines and some GA/BA operators like larger Part 91K operators and those that use commercial flight plan service providers (FPSPs) are able to submit early intent to TFMS prior to filing a flight plan. The rest of the GA/BA community’s arrival and departure plans are only visible in TFMS (and Pacer) when they file a flight plan. As you know, flight plans can only be filed within 24 hours of departure and some FPSPs do not submit the flight plan to the FAA until much closer to departure time. Therefore, at airports with a high percentage of GA/BA traffic, the demand picture does not become accurate until all flight plans are filed. Even at that point, the ETD filed in the flight plan may not be an accurate reflection of the time they will be ready to depart. And, currently there is no mechanism for flights that cannot submit updated departure intent data to TFMS, to provide updates in real time.
Those shortcomings, the inability of many GA/BA operators to provide early intent (prior to day-of) and tactical intent (within a few hours of departure), were the reason NBAA ATS engaged with the FAA and MITRE 3+ years ago. We have been exploring how mobile technology, ubiquitous amongst pilots these days, can be used to close the information exchange gap. For the Ski Country airports, the plan the FAA has used over the last several years was put in ground delay programs on high volume days and they had no “situation awareness” prior to the day of operation. The Pacer research is exploring how that gap can be closed and how tactical surface scheduling can be implemented in the future.
Note: Pacer is a research prototype created by the MITRE Corporation under funding from the FAA.
Can I find Pacer in the App store?
No, Pacer is actually a “web application,” this means it’s a website you can save to your home screen. Go to www.pacer.aero and using your smart phone’s browser features, navigate to save this website to your home screen. No updates are required to get to the latest version of the web app.
Does Pacer cost money to use?
Pacer is a research application that is completely free.
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