§It is often the case that due to demand-capacity imbalance at an airport, flights are assigned by air traffic controllers an amount of delay that they must absorb before their expected arrival at the airport. This paper investigates the distance needed by aircraft to absorb such delays through a speed reduction of up to 10% with respect to their nominal speed. Thirty five representative days of operations with distinct traffic volume and delay characteristics are considered for the analysis. For each day, a simulation of traffic in the NAS is conducted in the absence of any constraints on sector or airport capacity thereby resulting in delay-free aircraft landing times. Flights are assigned delays due to demandcapacity imbalances at forty major US airports, which are computed through a first-comefirst-served scheduler. Distances from the airport where flights should reduce speed in order to absorb their assigned delay are computed through an aircraft trajectory generator. Analysis focuses on jet aircraft reaching their top-of-climb point at least 250 nautical miles from their destination airport. Out of all aircraft assigned delays, on average 73% were able to absorb that delay entirely through speed control. Of these aircraft, on average 93.5% of flights were able to absorb their assigned delay by reducing speed in either the same or an adjacent Air Route Traffic Control Center (ARTCC) from their arrival airport. ARTCCs that issue the highest number of advisories for speed reduction are Washington (ZDC), Atlanta (ZTL), and Chicago (ZAU). Finally, results are also provided for the specific cases of Las Vegas (LAS) and Phoenix (PHX) airports.

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Published on 01/01/2012

Volume 2012, 2012
DOI: 10.2514/6.2012-5640
Licence: CC BY-NC-SA license

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