Using tactical flight level resource allocation to alleviate congested en-route airspace
Author(s)Abad, Antonio Manuel, 1976-
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Aeronautics and Astronautics.
John-Paul Barrington Clarke.
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A motivation exists to formulate and implement new tools and methodologies to address the problem of congestion in the National Airspace System (NAS). This thesis presents a novel methodology for allocating aircraft among En Route flight levels as a means to mitigate air traffic congestion and stakeholder operating costs. The core of the methodology is a decision-aiding tool comprised of a Mixed-Integer Linear Program (MILP) that is solved using a an A* Search-based Branch & Bound framework. Two metrics, measuring cumulative delay reduction and fuel burn savings, are used to benchmark the performance of the methodology. A combination of these two metrics is also explored as a means to minimize overall airline operating costs. A subsection of the Northeast Corridor is modeled and forms part of the analytic structure used to quantify the potential benefits of the proposed methodology. Simulations are generated from these models in order to gain an understanding of the benefits as they relate to varying NAS conditions. The following scenarios were modeled: 1) A baseline single jetway corridor, 2) Reduced Vertical Separation Minimum (RVSM), 3) Miles in Trail (MIT) restrictions on corridor traffic, and 4) the merging of Terminal Area air traffic with En route air traffic. Thus, this research also provides a preliminary, quantitative measure of the delay reduction, fuel burn savings and operating cost savings possible under each scenario, within a NAS corridor setting. Results indicate that 8.5 minutes of delay reduction per flight can be achieved when minimizing air traffic delay. Similarly, 16.47 kg/min of fuel burn savings per flight can be achieved when minimizing air traffic fuel burn. Instituting RVSM procedures result in an additional 45% of delay(cont.) reduction. Imposing MIT restrictions result in a 41% loss of delay reduction savings. These results were obtained for corridor simulations of 30 minutes in duration. Finally, the methodology is shown to be effective for use as a decision-aiding tool to merge air traffic streams.
Thesis (S.M.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Aeronautics and Astronautics, 2004.Leaf 157 blank.Includes bibliographical references (leaves 123-124).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Aeronautics and Astronautics.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Aeronautics and Astronautics.