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Effect of Wind on Operating-Cost-Based Cruise Speed Reduction for Delay Absorption

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2 Author(s)
Delgado, L. ; Castelldefels Telecommunication and Aeronautical Engineering School (EETAC), Technical University of Catalonia, Catalonia, Spain ; Prats, X.

En route speed reduction can be used for air traffic flow management (ATFM), e.g., delaying aircraft while airborne or realizing metering at an arrival fix. In previous publications, the authors identified the flight conditions that maximize the airborne delay without incurring extra fuel consumption with respect to the nominal (not delayed) flight. In this paper, the effect of wind on this strategy is studied, and the sensitivity to wind forecast errors is also assessed. A case study done in Chicago O'Hare airport (ORD) is presented, showing that wind has a significant effect on the airborne delay that can be realized and that, in some cases, even tailwinds might lead to an increase in the maximum amount of airborne delay. The values of airborne delay are representative enough to suggest that this speed reduction technique might be useful in a real operational scenario. Moreover, the speed reduction strategy is more robust than nominal operations against fuel consumption in the presence of wind forecast uncertainties.

Published in:

Intelligent Transportation Systems, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:14 ,  Issue: 2 )