The main theme in this article is the description of time-based traffic management procedures that have been proposed to increase the capacity of the air traffic system by the beginning of the next century. However, the article starts with a brief description of today's air traffic control systems. Their shortcomings are identified and the need for improved systems and procedures is discussed. The new technologies which will enable us to overcome the limitations of the present communication, navigation and surveillance systems by providing higher quality and improved efficiency, are briefly discussed. Because terminal area management certainly is one of the most critical aspects of overall air traffic management, the main focus in this article is on this issue. Finally, current research efforts towards improved trajectory optimization and control for flight operations in an extended terminal area are described in some detail.
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