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The mission of the MIT International Center for Air Transportation is to undertake research and educational programs which discover and disseminate the knowledge and tools underlying a global air transportation industry driven by new technologies. ICAT includes seven MIT faculty, more than 35 students and 8 staff members.

Given that, air transportation is a global business entering a dynamic period, global information systems are central to the future operation of international air transportation. Some examples of the impact of modern information technologies on air transportation include:

  • global communication and positioning systems
  • international air traffic management systems
  • scheduling, dispatch and maintenance support
  • vehicle management systems
  • passenger information and communication systems
  • real-time vehicle diagnostic systems

Airline operations are also undergoing major transformations. Airline management, airport security, air transportation economics, fleet scheduling, traffic flow management and airport facilities development, represent areas of great interest to the MIT faculty and are of vital importance to international air transportation. ICAT is a physical and intellectual home for these activities. The ICAT, and its predecessors, the Aeronautical Systems Laboratory (ASL) and Flight Transportation Laboratory (FTL), have pioneered several concepts in air traffic management and flight deck automation and displays that are now in common use.


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