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13 papers found

Paper 7 -- Airport Service Vehicle Scheduling

Airport service vehicles, such as luggage trailers and passenger buses, service an aircraft after the aircraft arrives and before it departs. The timely arrivals of these vehicles help ensure efficient use of airport resources. This research investigates algorithms for scheduling airport service vehicles. A mixed integer linear program is proposed, minimizing service provider fuel costs and air carrier delays. The formulation of the integer programming problem is modified to aid solution search strategies. A genetic algorithm heuristic borrowed from aircraft arrival scheduling is introduced for finding approximate solutions relatively quickly, in addition to an exact solution method making use of branch and bound techniques specially designed for this problem. The various algorithms are tested using simulations of service provider dispatch problems at Hamburg and Dallas-Fort Worth Airports. Results show that plan based service vehicle scheduling reduces both delay and fuel costs over passive strategies, often 20% or more. The genetic algorithm based heuristic also reduced delay and fuel costs while incurring computational burdens significantly below those of the optimal search strategy.
Theme: Airport Operations
Keywords: airport surface, decision support, optimization, vehicle routing
Posted by: Kenneth Kuhn / Other authors: Steffen Loth

Paper 16 -- Impact of future time-based operations on Situation Awareness of air traffic controllers.

A time-based operation, as planned in the ATM future, is assumed to affect the controllers’ Situation Awareness (SA) due to a higher priority of meeting a time objective and increasing automation. This paper provides SA requirements on the design of controller support tools in time-based operations, based on a short literature review and an empirical study executed at Air Traffic Control the Netherlands (LVNL). LVNL´s future ATM system requires an improved punctuality at the Initial Approach Fix (IAF) to enable Continuous Descent Approaches (CDAs) in the Schiphol TMA. A ground-based Speed and Route Advisor (SARA) tool has been designed to help Area Control (ACC) controllers with achieving a higher punctuality. A future follow-up for SARA could be an air-ground agreed Controlled Time of Arrival (CTA). The SARA real-time experiment results showed that this tool definitely decreases the controllers’ workload (R/T load, inputs), while the target of a higher accuracy at IAF was met. The findings have also pointed at two major impacts on the controllers’ SA as expected from the literature. First, controllers are currently more focusing on distance than on time in forming a mental picture of the traffic situation. This changes their working strategies in sequencing traffic and solving conflicts. Second, increasing automation (cf. SARA advisories) could be in conflict with the controllers’ own plan of traffic handling. They could loose a certain ‘feeling of control’ and ultimately their SA. This refers to the ‘out-of-the-loop’ problem of automation. However, there was a strong learning effect already after a few experimental sessions. This suggests that a gradual implementation and training will certainly help supporting a smooth introduction. Moreover, the impact on SA appears to depend on the specific design (e.g. Human Machine Interface (HMI), separation responsibility, quality of advisories). The resulting set of SA requirements on the design of such controller support tools should be addressed in future developments of time-based operations in ATM.
Theme: Human Factors
Posted by: Esther Oprins / Other authors: David Zwaaf, Fredrik Eriksson, Koen van de Merwe, Robert Roe

Paper 19 -- A systems-engineering approach to assessing the safety of the SESAR Operational Concept

The paper explains why a new approach, both broader and more rigorous than that traditionally followed in ATM, is needed for the safety assessment of the major operational and technology changes that are planned for introduction into European ATM over the period up to 2020 and beyond. It presents the theoretical basis for what is a “systems-engineering approach” and describes how that is being applied to the preliminary work on the safety assessment of the SESAR Operational Concept.
Theme: Innovative Methods for Safety Assessment
Keywords: SESAR, assessment, assurance, safety, safety case
Posted by: Eric Perrin / Other authors: Derek Fowler, Ron Pierce

Paper 64 -- Controlled Time of Arrival Flight Trials Results and Analysis

The CASSIS project has been tasked with developing a Concept of Operations for use of Time-of-Arrival Control in the terminal area. Reducing or replacing low level vectors and holding with enroute delay through the use of time constraints is a key component in both NextGen and SESAR. A set of revenue service flights using airborne time control to the Initial Approach Fix and the runway threshold was conducted in September 2008 as part of the CASSIS project. These flight trials facilitated an examination of the factors affecting time control behavior and the potential for use of airborne time control in the terminal area in near- and mid-term time frames. The impact of airborne control to a single time constraint on separation between aircraft is also examined. This analysis shows that the use of current generation avionics to meet a time constraint at a point in the approach is possible with accuracies of less than 5 seconds, and can achieve 2 minute landing spacing at the runway threshold with no loss of intermediate separations. Recommendations for future developments and considerations for larger scale implementation are also discussed.
Theme: Continuous Descent Approaches
Keywords: 4D Trajectory, Controlled Time of Arrival, Trajectory Based Operations, controller workload
Posted by: Joel Klooster / Other authors: Patrick Manzi, Ana Del-Amo

Paper 110 -- Evaluation of Triple Closely Spaced Parallel Runway Procedures for Off-nominal Cases

This study investigated the procedures on three closely spaced parallel runways using a high fidelity flight simulator. The operational concept under study aimed to achieve visual meteorological capacities under instrument meteorological conditions when landing aircraft on runways as close as 750 ft apart. The purpose of the study was to investigate procedures related to breakout maneuvers for triple parallel runways flying in an echelon formation. Two-thirds of the data collection runs had an off-nominal situation, which was manipulated as an independent variable. The off-nominal situation was either the wake of the lead aircraft drifting too close to the center or trailing aircraft or the lead aircraft deviating from its course and blundering towards the center and trailing aircraft. The location of the off-nominal situation (high/low altitude) and the position of the ownship (center or right runway) were also manipulated as independent variables. Results showed that the workload and situational demands experienced by pilots were higher in the off-nominal as compared to the nominal scenario. Neither cause of breakout, location of breakout, nor position of ownship had a significant impact on workload or situation awareness. Analysis of the objective flight data indicated that the pilots flew the breakout maneuvers across all conditions and scenarios accurately and safely, similar to the previous two runway study. The results also provide an assessment of the procedures for breakout maneuvers during off-nominal conditions.
Theme: Innovative ATM Concepts
Keywords: Simultaneous Approaches, VCSPR, breakout procedures, off-nominal situations, triple approaches
Posted by: Savita Verma / Other authors: Thomas Kozon, Sandra Lozito, Deborah Ballinger, Gordon Hardy, Ramesh Panda, Diane Carpenter, Darell Wooten, Herbert Resnick

Paper 115 -- US/ Europe comparison of ATM-related operational performance

Air Navigation Service Providers (ANSPs) are continually seeking to improve operations. Measures derived from operational databases are a key component to assessing performance and recommending improvements. This paper examines several key performance indicators derived from comparable operations databases for both EUROCONTROL and the Federal Aviation Administration. This research effort developed a comparable population of operations data and harmonized assessment techniques for developing reference conditions for assessing performance. In the end, measures that address efficiency, punctuality and predictability are presented that can compare high level performance between the two systems by phase of flight.
Theme: ATM Performance Measurement and Management
Keywords: Performance Indicators, System Efficiency
Posted by: John Gulding

Paper 122 -- Development of Flight Inefficiency Metrics for Environmental Performance Assessment of ATM

Air traffic management has a fundamentally important role in reducing the environmental impacts of air transportation. The potential causes of flight inefficiency are discussed, followed by the development of flight inefficiency metrics based on ground track extension and fuel burn to quantify the environmental performance of the system. These metrics are used with flight data to illustrate their utility. Lateral flight inefficiency metrics are found to be simple and compatible with current surveillance technologies, but they do not allow some important environmental performance characteristics to be identified. Fuel-based metrics are found to be far more effective in this regard, but suffer from significantly greater complexity in their implementation. The implications of the analyses for future ATM evolution strategies are discussed to show the insights that can be gained.
Theme: Environmental Impacts in ATM System Design and Operation
Keywords: air traffic management, environmental impacts, flight inefficiency metrics
Posted by: Tom Reynolds

Paper 125 -- A Model for Determining Ground Delay Program Parameters Using a Probabilistic Forecast of Stratus Clearing

An approach is presented for using the probabilistic forecast of stratus clearing time at San Francisco (SFO) to achieve more efficient Ground Delay Programs (GDPs) by better determining GDP end time and scope. Given a probabilistic forecast, we use a Monte-Carlo simulation approach to generate many stratus clearing times for each discrete GDP end time and scope under consideration. Various key measures are evaluated such as unnecessary ground delay if the GDP ends later than stratus clearing and the risk of airborne holding at the end of the GDP if the GDP ends earlier than stratus clearing. An objective function that includes each of the key metrics captures the cost of each scenario under consideration, and the optimal GDP parameters can then be selected. Results show reductions of 29% for unnecessary issued ground delay and reductions of 39% for unnecessarily delayed flights over the SFO GDPs during the severe weather seasons in 2006 and 2007.
Theme: Weather
Keywords: Ground Delay Program, Monte-Carlo Simulation, Probabilistic Forecast, SFO Stratus Forecast System
Posted by: Lara Cook / Other authors: Bryan Wood

Paper 128 -- Optimizing Airspace Sectors for Varying Demand Patterns using Multi-Controller Staffing

A variety of design concepts have been implemented in sectorizing en route airspace, e.g. balancing controller workload, aligning sector shape with flow, and maintaining minimum dwell time. To efficiently serve demand variation over time and space and to increase efficiency, models for dynamic airspace management, e.g. frequently changing sector boundaries or re-organizing jet routes, have also been envisioned. In the U.S., a common way to deal with temporary demand peaks in a sector is to use multiple controller teams, e.g. a Radar-side controller plus a Data-side controller. In this study, we propose an optimization model to create airspace sector boundaries that takes traffic demand variations and multi-controller teams into account. We improve upon existing sectorization techniques by acknowledging that sector capacity can be increased by adding auxiliary controllers. By comparing a multi-controller policy with a single-controller policy, our numerical results confirm that when traffic demand patterns are steady over time, a single-controller policy is satisfactory. But when demand varies over time, sectors can be designed in a way that allows for strategic use of multi-controller teams. This makes effective use of controller workforce and circumvents the need to perform disruptive sector boundary changes during busy periods.
Theme: Dynamic Airspace and Capacity Management
Keywords: airspace partitoning, contoller cost, controller staffing, controller workload, dynamic airspace and capacity management, dynamic airspace configuration, multi-period design, sectorization, traffic patterns, variable sector capacity
Posted by: Shin-Lai Tien / Other authors: Robert Hoffman

Paper 138 -- Initial Evaluation of NextGen Air/Ground Operations with Ground-Based Automated Separation Assurance

NextGen air/ground operations with ground-based automated separation assurance have been initially evaluated with controllers and pilots in the loop at NASA Ames Research Center. Nominal and off-nominal situations were investigated in a highly automated environment, under 2x and 3x traffic densities. The paper starts with a review of previous simulations on nominal operations, followed by a description of the underlying concept and the roles and responsibilities of controller, pilots and automation. The core of this paper discusses a simulation of air/ground operations, in which controllers and pilots were confronted with a challenging situation: Ground-based separation automation was managing the trajectories for all aircraft at 2x and 3x traffic density without controller involvement. Routine and off-nominal events were carefully scripted that caused short-term conflicts, simulated emergency situations or required trajectory negotiations. It was found that the concept shows great promise to enabling the en route capacity increases targeted for NextGen. The medium-term conflict detection and resolution automation coupled with data link was able to solve over 98% of all conflicts during nominal operations, with a significantly higher success rate at 2x (>99 %) than at 3x. More than 95% of uplinked trajectories were acceptable to the flight crews. While controller workload was low in general and they were able to resolve over 75% of scripted off-nominal short-term conflicts, many issues were identified that need to be further addressed in the area of short-term conflict detection and resolution.
Theme: Separation
Posted by: Thomas Prevot

Paper 141 -- Lateral Intent Error’s Impact on Aircraft Prediction

Unprecedented global initiatives have begun to redesign the aviation systems that provide for the efficient and safe transport of civilian aircraft. Success of these initiatives is only possible through global collaborations that allow broader analyses and data to be shared. The paper reports on just such a study that examines the lateral deviations from the automation’s known horizontal route of flight to the actual aircraft position. These errors are due to the typical navigation and surveillance errors, as well as the larger atypical errors that are mainly caused by purposeful changes in the route of flight that are not updated. Large data analyses within the ground automation systems of the United States and Europe indicated errors from 20 to 30 nautical miles are common, while airborne Australian and more samples in the United States had errors from 100 to 800 times smaller. Further analysis illustrated the direct impact these errors have on safety critical separation management functions. It was concluded that airborne derived data via Automatic Dependent Surveillance Contract reports offer a major opportunity to improve the ground-based automation functions.
Theme: Trajectory and Queue Management
Keywords: ADS-C, aircraft intent, aviation automation, conflict prediction, conflict probe, lateral deviaton, trajectory predicton
Posted by: Mike Paglione / Other authors: Greg McDonald, Ibrahim Bayraktutar, Jesper Bronsvoort

Paper 143 -- 4D-Trajectory Deconfliction Through Departure Time Adjustment

As acknowledged by the SESAR programme, current ATC systems must be drastically improved to accommodate the predicted traffic growth in Europe. In this context, the Episode 3 project aims at assessing the performance of new ATM concepts, like 4D-trajectory planning and strategic deconfliction. One of the bottlenecks impeding ATC performances is the hourly capacity constraints defined on each en-route ATC sector to limit the rate of aircraft. Previous works were mainly focused on optimizing the current ground holding slot allocation process devised to satisfy these constraints. We propose to estimate the cost of directly solving all conflicts in the upper airspace with ground holding, provided that aircraft were able to follow their trajectories accurately. We present a Constraint Programming (CP) model of this large scale combinatorial optimization problem and the results obtained with the FaCiLe constraint library. We study the effect of uncertainties on the departure time and estimate the cost of improving the robustness of our solutions with the CATS simulator. Encouraging results were obtained without uncertainty but the costs of robust solutions are prohibitive. Our approach may however be improved e.g. with a prior flight level allocation and the dynamic resolution of remaining conflicts with one of CATS' module.
Theme: Network and Strategic Traffic Flow Optimization
Keywords: Conflict Resolution, Constraint Programming, Slot Allocation
Posted by: Nicolas Barnier / Other authors: Cyril Allignol

Paper 155 -- Assessing the Role of Operator, Passenger, and Infrastructure Costs in Fleet Planning under Fuel Price Uncertainty

Aviation system planning is challenged by the rapid increase in fuel prices and uncertainty in air traffic management (ATM) charges. As airlines decrease capacity and decommission older aircraft and aviation navigation service providers ponder new ATM charging schemes, a critical question is which aircraft provide air transportation service for the lowest cost. This study evaluates the introduction of a minimally utilized aircraft type in the United States, a 72-seat turboprop, compared with the currently operated narrow body and regional jet aircraft. Homogenous fleets of these vehicles are compared for operating, passenger preference, and ATM costs over a range of fuel prices and the minimum cost fleet mix is determined. Findings include that when operating costs are considered alone, the regional jet exhibits a higher cost per passenger than the turboprop for the entire fuel price and stage length space; when passenger costs are considered there exists an equal cost per passenger curve between these two aircraft for fuel prices below $4.00/gallon. When infrastructure costs are considered, the fuel price and stage length space where the turboprop offers a lower cost increases. The comparison of the turboprop with the narrow body shows that an equal cost curve exists under all cost combinations considered. With the introduction of ATM charging, the flat landing fee favors the narrow body as providing the lower cost for a large region, while variable ATM charges increase the space where the turboprop offers the lower cost. This analysis shows that aircraft fleet selection is highly sensitive to fuel prices, passenger costs, and ATM charging schemes.
Theme: Finance and Policy
Keywords: Aviation, Fuel, Infrastructure Cost, Operating, Passenger, Turboprop
Posted by: Megan Smirti / Other authors: Mark Hansen

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