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A Scalable Methodology for Evaluating and Designing Coordinated Air-Traffic Flow Management Strategies Under Uncertainty

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2 Author(s)
Yan Wan ; Sch. of Electr. Eng. & Comput. Sci., Washington State Univ., Pullman, WA ; Roy, S.

As congestion in the United States National Airspace System (NAS) increases, coordination of en route and terminal-area traffic flow management procedures is becoming increasingly necessary to prevent controller workload excesses without imposing excessive delay on aircraft. Here, we address the coordination of flow management procedures in the presence of realistic uncertainties by developing a family of abstractions for implementable flow restrictions (e.g., miles-in-trail restrictions, ground delay programs, and slot-based policies). Using these abstractions, we are able to evaluate the impact of multiple restrictions on generic (uncertain) traffic flows and, hence, to design practical flow management strategies. We use the developed methodology to address several common design problems, including the design of multiple restrictions along a single major traffic stream and the design of multiple flows entering a congested terminal area or sector. For instance, we find that multiple restrictions along a stream can be used to split the backlog resulting from a single restriction and use this observation to develop low-congestion designs. We conclude the discussion by posing a tractable NAS-wide flow management problem using a simple algebraic model for a restriction.

Published in:

Intelligent Transportation Systems, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:9 ,  Issue: 4 )