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Observation and analysis of departure operations at Boston Logan International Airport

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dc.contributor.advisor R. John Hansman. en_US Idris, Husni Rifat en_US
dc.contributor.other Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Mechanical Engineering. en_US
dc.coverage.spatial n-us-ma en_US 2008-04-24T08:50:50Z 2008-04-24T08:50:50Z 2001 en_US 2001 en_US
dc.identifier.uri en_US
dc.description Thesis (Ph.D.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Mechanical Engineering, 2001. en_US
dc.description Includes bibliographical references (p. 199-203). en_US
dc.description.abstract In order to support the development of improved methods for departure operations, the flow constraints and their causalities --primarily responsible for inefficiencies and delays-- need to be identified. This thesis is an effort to identify such flow constraints and gain a deep understanding of the departure process underlying dynamics based on field observations and analysis conducted at Boston Logan International Airport. It was observed that the departure process forms a complex interactive queuing system and is highly controlled by the air traffic controllers. Therefore, Flow constraints were identified with airport resources (runways, taxiways, ramp and gates) and with air traffic controllers due to their workload and control strategies. While departure delays were observed in all airport components, flow constraints manifested mainly at the runway system, where the longest delays and queues concentrated. Major delays and inefficiencies were also observed due to flow constraints at National Air Space locations downstream of the airport, which propagate back and block the departure flow from the airport. The air traffic controllers' main strategies in managing the traffic and dealing with the flow constraints were also identified. en_US
dc.description.abstract (cont.) Based on these observations, a core departure process abstraction was posed consisting of a queuing element (representing the delays) and a control element (representing the air traffic controller actions). The control element represents blocking the aircraft flow, to maintain safe airport operation according to Air Traffic Control procedures and to regulate the outbound flow to constrained downstream resources. Based on this physical abstraction, an analytical queuing framework was developed and used to analyze the departure process dynamics under three different scenarios: the overall process between pushback and takeoff, departure sub-processes between controller/pilot communication events and under downstream restrictions. Passing which results mainly from aircraft sequencing and their suspension under special circumstances (such as downstream restrictions) was used as a manifestation of the control behavior. It was observed that Logan Airport exhibits high uncertainty and limited sequencing, hindering the air traffic controllers' ability to efficiently manage the traffic and comply with restrictions. In conclusion, implications for improved methods for departure operations are inferred from the observations and analysis. en_US
dc.description.statementofresponsibility by Husni Rifat Idris. en_US
dc.format.extent 203 p. en_US
dc.language.iso eng en_US
dc.publisher Massachusetts Institute of Technology en_US
dc.rights M.I.T. theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission. See provided URL for inquiries about permission. en_US
dc.rights.uri en_US
dc.rights.uri en_US
dc.subject Mechanical Engineering. en_US
dc.subject.lcsh Air traffic control Massachusetts Boston en_US
dc.subject.lcsh Airports Traffic control en_US
dc.title Observation and analysis of departure operations at Boston Logan International Airport en_US
dc.title.alternative Departure operations at Boston Logan International Airport en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US Ph.D. en_US
dc.contributor.department Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Mechanical Engineering. en_US
dc.identifier.oclc 48747701 en_US

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