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Thursday Buzz: Smooth Flying in the Future?

By / Jan 21, 2016 (iStock/Thinkstock)

Boarding and takeoff at airports may soon be faster and more enjoyable, thanks to math. Plus: Addressing and clarifying your organization’s tax status to the public.

Imagine if sitting on the runway before taking off was eliminated altogether.

“Ready, set, takeoff” may be a possibility, all thanks to a new algorithm by engineers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) designed to prevent planes from needlessly idling to maximize fuel savings and minimize passenger frustration.

“In 2022, there’s going to be systemwide congestion, and the belief is [that] most of the benefit of airport operations management is going to come from some sort of departure metering,” Hamsa Balakrishnan, associate professor of aeronautics and astronautics and engineering systems at MIT, said in a news release. “What you need in order to do departure metering is a way to predict what’s actually going to happen, and use that to meter. So we’re building the models to help us achieve that.”

But how? What the MIT formula does is look at a number of factors, including weather conditions and runway and flight traffic. The algorithm predicts how long a specific flight has to wait for its turn to takeoff. That means passengers can wait at the gate and there won’t be lines of planes idling on the runway.

The formula has already been testing at some U.S. airports. The research, partly funded by the National Science Foundation, was done at Newark Liberty International Airport, Boston’s Logan International Airport, LaGuardia Airport in New York, Charlotte Douglas International Airport in North Carolina, and Philadelphia International Airport, starting back in 2007.

Hope it works since nobody wants “systemwide congestion” in six years.

Identifying a Nonprofit

The tax status of a cultural organization or museum may not matter or even be clear to visitors. How can such an organization make it clear?

Colleen Dilenschneider, of her blog Know Your Own Bone, suggests a few things an organization can do to strengthen its mission and clarify its nonprofit status in her latest video and article.

A Couple Links for Your Day

Chrome may be getting faster in the future. Faster? Really? Google is rolling out a new compression algorithm called Brotli to speed up internet processes in the browser. Mozilla, the makers of Firefox, says it may adopt Brotli as well.

We all have that voice in our head—that inner dialogue of doubt or insecurity. Andrea Ayres at Lifehacker explains how to combat it and get stuff done.

Cloud philanthropy: Microsoft plans to donate $1 billion in cloud resources to aid nonprofits and university research, CEO Satya Nadella announced at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

Patrick deHahn

Patrick deHahn is a contributor to Associations Now. More »

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