2023 Competition Details


The Enterprise Information Management (EIM) strategy is centered on using data more effectively to support the FAA’s mission and driving innovation through improved access to data. This FAA Data Challenge will provide a unique opportunity to involve university students in the FAA’s mission by offering creative and unique solutions to current and future challenges. We hope to create and stimulate a pipeline of talent who will become transportation leaders of tomorrow.

It is important that the FAA continues to ensure data-driven innovation in aviation that is encouraged across a broad spectrum of participants. To expand its reach to other schools and students, the FAA’s Chief Data Office (CDO) is hosting this Data Challenge. Students will have an opportunity to propose an idea in one of the theme areas and have their solution evaluated for an opportunity to win a cash prize. Over the course of the challenge, students will be challenged with:

  • Working with unstructured data
  • Deriving new insights by identifying and connecting complementary datasets
  • Leveraging advanced analytics to enhance the value of data

Challenge Overview

This FAA Data Challenge will focus on the use of Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning (AI/ML) and advanced analytics to explore aviation-related problems and opportunities. AI/ML is rapidly transforming many industries including aviation. The successful submissions will push the boundary and introduce novel approaches to aviation problems as the FAA moves further towards an info-centric National Airspace System (NAS).

The advanced analytics and AI/ML proposals should address one of the following categories:

    • Improve Aviation Safety

      We are striving to be even smarter about how we enhance safety. By gathering and analyzing operational data, we can identify and address potential hazards and mitigate issues before they occur. AI/ML and big data can be used to identify trends, correlate events, predict outcomes, and move us closer to in-time analysis of safety of the overall system.

      We also want to investigate how operational performance of the aircraft data could be collected for Part 91 (General Aviation) and similar operation types (e.g., using mobile application streaming data to the cloud or automated upload at base/service intervals) and used to identify safety issues, deviations, and enhance accident investigations. This capability is beneficial for aircraft that do not have a requirement for a flight data monitoring program (FDM).

    • Improve Operational Efficiency of the NAS

      By sharing of real-time data about weather, the location of aircraft, and conditions throughout the National Airspace System, we can improve the operational efficiency. When we get the right data to the right people at the right time, we can make better decisions and use of available airspace and airport capacity.

    • Contribute to the Drive for Sustainable Aviation

      Sustainable aviation will require progress along multiple dimensions; from sustainable fuels, improving operational efficiency, building the next generation aircrafts to minimizing environmental and social impacts; every aspect will be improved by advances in analytics.

    • Assist with the Rapidly Evolving New and Novel Uses of the NAS

      There is tremendous growth in the aviation field, including demand for commercial and private services and new aircrafts being introduced. Leveraging modern analytical techniques (e.g., modeling, simulation) can allow us to rapidly simulate operational scenarios to evaluate risks and optimize operations.

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