CD-ROM reveals inner workings of air travel

Travelers may view air travel in a different light after using a new CD-ROM available from the Federal Aviation Administration and NASA that details how the air traffic control system handles flights from gate to gate.

The CD-ROM, called Gate to Gate, is designed to help the public understand the people, tools and processes involved in a flight, from pre-flight planning to arrival, according to an FAA statement. The virtual tour includes a few of the new technologies being deployed to help the FAA manage projected growth in the future.

Gate to Gate includes separate learning modules on the pre-flight, takeoff, departure, en route, descent, approach and landing phases of a flight to explain how the air traffic control system works. The software is self-paced and uses animations, Quicktime virtual reality video clips and other interactive learning activities. The CD-ROM is compatible with Macintosh and IBM computers.

In another Transportation Department public outreach effort, the National Transportation Safety Board will broadcast its board meeting to review the TWA Flight 800 accident for the first time live via the World Wide Web. The meeting will take place today and Wednesday.

During the meeting, the NTSB will consider the final report on the investigation into the crash of TWA Flight 800. The event can be viewed at www.ntsb.gov/events/twa800/default.htm.

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