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The FAA announced today (March 27) it has launched the “2024 FAA Data Challenge.” The object of the program is to invite university students to explore possibilities for innovating the information and data associated with the U.S. National Airspace System (NAS). The competition will be implemented by HeroX, self-described as an “open marketplace for crowdsourcing innovation and human ingenuity.” HeroX was founded in 2013 by entrepreneur Christian Cotichini and XPrize founder Peter Diamandis.

Marseta Dill, FAA acting Chief Data Officer, said, “This Challenge is centered around using data more effectively to support the FAA’s mission of driving innovation through improved access to data. We want to reach those who will become the transportation leaders of tomorrow and invite them to participate.”

The FAA expects competitors to tap Artificial Intelligence (AI), machine learning, and advanced analytics to help solve issues related to aviation safety, operational efficiency, sustainability, “and the exploration of novel NAS applications.” Prize money will be awarded in two phases – an initial phase where up to 10 finalists will receive $1,000, plus an $8,000 stipend to attend the Phase 2 event, where they will present their solutions to FAA officials and members of the aviation community. Phase 2 includes an overall purse of $90,000 that will be divided among the 10 competitors based on their performance in the second phase event.

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