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HIGHLIGHTS ARCHIVE
03.17.10
Division Highlights

Contents
Second Simulation Completed for Terminal Area Paired Procedures Research: The second in a series of three experiments for the Terminal Area Paired Procedures Research (TAPPR) project was completed in March 2010. The TAPPR concept focuses on the delivery of aircraft pairs, one plane 5 to 25 seconds in trail of the other, to a coupling point 12 nautical miles from the runway threshold. Air traffic controllers have recommended that this type of decision support tool would be of value today during SOIA operations. Preliminary results show that most pairs met the timing constraint at the coupling point. This concept allows paired landings to closely spaced parallel runways in Instrument Flight Rules conditions -- furthering the NextGen goal of increasing the capacity of airports in all weather conditions. In this experiment, enhancements to the timeline display, pairing logic, and conformance monitoring were made, using experimental data and participant feedback from the first TAPPR experiment. The experiment consisted of three levels of automation: 1) manual determination and management of pairs, 2) automated assistance to controllers in creating and managing pairs, and 3) more automated assistance in evaluating, selecting and managing pairs, and an automated pairing algorithm to assist in determining the best pairs. Controllers made effective use of timeline guidance for pairing in the TRACON sectors, and considered it a useful aid. In the first TAPPR experiment the controllers preferred the second level of automation. However, in this experiment, after enhancements to the decision support tool, the highest level of automation was preferred. A conformance window was available on the controller display, which enabled the controllers to monitor the status of the trailing aircraft with respect to the timing constraint at the coupling point.

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Integration of Traffic Flow Management and Dynamic Airspace Configuration: Dr. Robert Hoffman of Metron Aviation presented results of an experiment on how changing the airspace configuration can support air traffic flow. In today's operations, with unchanging airspace configuration, Traffic Flow Management (TFM) regulates air traffic to avoid exceeding airport arrival capacity, airport departure capacity, and air traffic control capacity. It regulates air traffic, for example, by delaying aircraft on the ground, in the air, or both. In the future, researchers believe that Dynamic Airspace Configuration (DAC) can help reduce the delay by changing the airspace partition. Dr. Hoffman's experiment used a linear programming technique for modeling TFM and a mixed-integer program and computational geometry technique for modeling DAC. He ran simulations by iterating through TFM and DAC models. Although delay was reduced on the first iteration when DAC was used, the final result showed that progressive interactions between DAC and TFM were complex and did not converge.

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