31th Congress of the International Council of the Aeronautical Sciences

09 - Air Transport System Efficiency


M. Hicksonı, C. Bilı; ıRMIT University, Australia

Due to the increasing number of aircraft in operation over the past few decades, the significance of en-route and airport traffic control has become central to improving the efficiency of aircraft operations. Tremendous improvements have already been made to the air traffic management during flight, and as a result, Soomer and Franx (2008) suggest the primary limiting factor to air traffic capacity has shifted from the flight segment to the airports. To improve airport air traffic management, specifically the Aircraft Landing Problem (ALP), the development and more importantly implementation of a dynamic landing sequencer is required to improve productivity. According to Inniss and Ball (2004), the cost of delaying an aircraft is twice as much in the air compared to on the ground. It is clear the financial benefits of an intelligent landing scheduler demonstrate an obvious incentive for airports to implement the existing strategies, however, nearly all airports predominately use a First-Come-First-Served (FCFS) ordering system. In an FCFS sequence, the aircraft land in order determined by their proximity and scheduled arrival order on the runway, with minimal separation requirements enforced by air traffic control. Chandran and Balakrishnan (2007) summarise the popularity of this sequencing as being due to the simplicity of implementation, reduction in controller workload and sense of fairness, but it more often leads to reduced runway throughput. For this reason, deviating from FCFS sequencing will result in improved air traffic control. For a long time now many efforts to alleviate air traffic control workload had been focused on automated computer aided scheduling. The primary focus for Air Traffic Control (ATC) is maintaining the safety regulations outlined by the appropriate safety organisation, such as the FAA or CASA, specified minimum time separation intervals. Optimal sequencing of aircraft landing is dependent on minimising total runway engagement time. To

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