Some measures of aircraft performance on the airport surface
Author(s)Swedish, William J.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Flight Transportation Laboratory
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During the month of January, a survey was conducted at Boston and Atlanta Airports to obtain input data for an interactive computer simulation of runway and taxiway traffic being developed by Lincoln Laboratory. Data was collected for landings, takeoffs, and taxiing; included were such items as runway occupancy times, touchdown distances and times, liftoff distances and times, time over a given taxiway stretch, taxiway intersection delays and pre-takeoff delays. This thesis presents the results of the analysis of that data. Sample means and deviations of various parameters are given. The results of further analysis, intended to disclose inherent patterns in the data, are also discussed. First, it was found that there were few statistically significant differences in the speeds of different aircraft over the same taxiway stretch, regardless of the aircraft type or direction of travel. Also, length of the segment did not seem to have a uniform effect on speed. It is felt, though, that the location of the segment does have a substantial influence on taxiing speed. Secondly, touchdown distance was not significantly different on runways equipped with VASI (Visual Approach Slope Indicator) systems, when compared with non-VASI runways. Both exhibit substantial variance in the distribution of touchdown points. - 3 - However, the distribution for VASI-runways presents a double peaking not otherwise noticed, which may indicate a difference between a VASI-assisted and an unguided landing. Third, in analyzing runway occupancy times, it was found that the time to a given exit did not statistically vary, in general, regardless of the aircraft type involved. Overall differences between types were noted, with average occupancy times increasing with weight, but this is seen as being caused mainly by different patterns of exit use. On takeoffs, very few differences in occupancy times were found, regardless of type or runway. Lastly, other analyses which could be performed on the collected data are discussed, and suggestions are made for the planning of future surveys. In particular, a more automated data gathering system, involving remote sensors on the runway, is strongly recommended for greater accuracy.
May 1972Based upon a survey conducted at Boston and Atlanta airportsAlso issued as an M.S. thesis, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Aeronautics and Astronautics, 1972Includes bibliographical references
Cambridge, Mass. : Flight Transportation Laboratory, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 
FTL report (Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Flight Transportation Laboratory) ; R72-4
Airplanes, Airports, Runways (Aeronautics), Landing, Data processing, Traffic control, Taxiing