This paper describes a human-in-the-loop experiment of an airborne spacing concept designed to support Continuous Descent Arrival (CDA) operations. The use of CDAs with traditional air traffic control (ATC) techniques may actually reduce an airport's arrival throughput since ATC must provide more airspace around aircraft on CDAs due to the variances in the aircraft trajectories. The intent of airborne self-spacing, where ATC delegates the speed control to the aircraft, is to maintain or even enhance an airport’s landing rate during CDA operations by precisely achieving the desired time interval between aircraft at the runway threshold. This paper describes the operational concept along with the supporting airborne spacing tool and the results of a piloted evaluation of this concept, with the focus of the evaluation on pilot acceptability of the concept during off-nominal events. The results of this evaluation show a pilot acceptance of this airborne spacing concept with little negative performance impact over conventional CDAs.
Theme: Continuous Descent Approaches
Keywords: airborne spacing, continuous descent arrivals, merging and spacing