Using constraint programming, we effectively model and efficiently solve the problem of balancing and minimising the traffic complexities of an airspace of adjacent sectors. The traffic complexity of a sector is here defined in terms of the numbers of flights within it, near its border, and on non-level segments within it. The allowed forms of complexity resolution are the changing of the take-off times of not yet airborne flights, the changing of the remaining approach times into the chosen airspace of already airborne flights by slowing down and speeding up within the two layers of feeder sectors around that airspace, as well as the changing of the levels of passage over way-points in that airspace. Experiments with actual European flight profiles obtained from the Central Flow Management Unit (CFMU) show that these forms of complexity resolution can lead to significant complexity reductions and rebalancing.
Theme: Innovative ATM Concepts
Keywords: air traffic complexity, workload, Upper Airspace, en route airspace, Super Sectors, Constraint Programming, Optimisation