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FAA uses FairCom DB to create the safest, most efficient aerospace system

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The Federal Aviation Administration has one of the safest, most efficient aerospace systems—and it's powered by FairCom DB.

The Company

Traveling by air requires a lot of planning and coordination — this remains true whether you’re an international airline or a family of five running to your connector at Dallas-Fort Worth. For the United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), however, there’s an added stressor: Its entire mission is “to provide the safest and most efficient aerospace system in the world.”In more concrete terms, the FAA’s area of responsibility includes more than 29 million square miles of U.S. airspace — and every flight within this vast geographic area. That means tracking every flight in, out of, and through U.S. airspace. On any given day, the FAA monitors upward of 45,000 flights, with as many as 5,400 aircraft in the air at any one time.

The Challenge

The FAA uses a robust communications system to perform its duties—the National Airspace Data Interchange Network (NADIN). This interfacility communications network was built to handle the complex nature of the services relied on by the FAA.NADIN disseminates flight plan data among Flight Service Stations, Air Route Traffic Control Centers, U.S. Military Base Operations, and international aviation authorities. With so many flight plans sent to so many different endpoints, NADIN processes about 1.5 million flights each day. Sending out these plans is mission critical — if a flight does not have a logged flight plan, it could receive a United States military aircraft escort and may even be shot down.To keep this system running effectively, NADIN requires fast, accurate, and reliable information transfer. Its previous system, however, could only guarantee three nines of uptime, which allows almost nine hours of downtime a year. It needed at least a five nines guarantee—less than 6 minutes of downtime. It needed FairCom DB.

The Solution

FairCom DB is optimized for easy development, an exceptionally low total cost of ownership, and high performance. It provides multiple APIs for working with data—including JSON, SQL, and extremely fast, NoSQL-oriented record-buffer APIs.

Its multimodel database capabilities allow it to process hundreds of thousands of transactions per second—even when operating on a single database server. This makes it the perfect choice for high-velocity situations. One reason for this speed is its NoSQL/SQL capabilities, which empower developers to process data using a wide variety of Application Programmer Interfaces (APIs). With FairCom DB’s 25+ available APIs, application developers can choose the best-in-class API for their specific use cases. This, in turn, means applications can be built to perform high-speed data throughput. The multimodel capabilities then make data easily available for reporting, analytics, and web integration.FairCom DB’s efficiency benefits include modest hardware and no DBA requirements. It doesn’t require high-end hardware or clusters of machines to achieve high-velocity performance. Furthermore, by its self-tuning and self-healing capabilities, FairCom DB requires no database administrators. FairCom DB users enjoy simply installing the engine, setting up the backups, and forgetting about it. This combination is ideally suited for mission-critical environments like the FAA’s NADIN system.

The Result

FairCom DB provides NADIN with the proper capacity, speed, reliability, and flexibility needed for this critical system. As the core for interfacility communications nationwide, NADIN directly determines the level of service and safety the FAA as a whole can provide.FairCom DB is also especially well-suited to allow better rerouting during inclement weather. Poor weather creates both a safety hazard and air traffic inefficiencies. It’s also the most significant cause of traffic delays, with more than three-quarters of delays attributed to inclement weather.These delays cost both airlines and passengers billions of dollars each year. While it cannot control the weather, the FAA can lessen delays through efficient re-routing. FairCom DB provides the FAA with immediate access to reliable data, enabling the organization to identify aircraft scheduled to fly through severe weather and re-route them if possible. The end results for the 2.9 million passengers that come through U.S. airspace daily are greater safety, time, and money saved.In addition to transferring air traffic control voice and communications, NADIN also disseminates other critical information, such as weather alerts. The flexible nature of FairCom DB enables NADIN to handle voice, image, and various data formats required by this mission-critical system.The FAA’s use of FairCom DB is just one example of how FairCom database technology plays a role in everyday life. Emergency response systems, package tracking systems, phone call routing, and credit and debit card transaction processing all trust FairCom DB. And this only scratches the surface of the use cases for which some of the world’s best-known brands and more than 40% of the Fortune 100 trust FairCom.Learn more about the entire family of FairCom products.

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