Evaluating the impact of new aircraft separation minima on available airspace capacity and arrival time delay

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Abstract

Although the application of new, reduced aircraft separation minima can directly increase runway throughput, the impact thereof on the traffic flow of aircraft arriving at the destination airport has not been discussed yet. This paper proposes a data-driven and queue-based modeling approach and presents an analysis of the impact on the delay time of arriving aircraft in the airspace within a radius of 100 nautical miles around an airport. The parameters of our queuing model were estimated by analysing the data contained in the radar tracks and flight plans for flights that arrived at Tokyo International Airport during the 2 years of 2016 and 2017. The results clarified the best arrival strategy according to the distance from the arrival airport: The combination of airspace capacity control and reduction of the flight time and separation variance is the most powerful solution to mitigate delays experienced by arriving traffic while also allowing an increase in the amount of arrival traffic. The application of new wake vortex categories would enable us to increase the arrival traffic to 120%. In addition, the arrival delay time could be minimised by implementing the proposed arrival traffic strategies together with automation support for air traffic controllers.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)447–471
Number of pages25
JournalThe Aeronautical Journal
Volume124
Issue number1274
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Keywords

  • queuing theory
  • data analysis
  • data-driven air transport
  • wake vortex categories
  • arrival management

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