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Impact of Free Maneuvering Aircraft on Ground-Side Operations in Mixed Airspace  (2005)
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Numerous concepts aimed at increasing airspace capacity have been proposed to meet the anticipated increase in future air traffic demand. NASA Ames and NASA Langley Research Centers have recently conducted a joint simulation to test the En Route Free Maneuvering concept element of Distributed Air-Ground Traffic Management (DAG-TM), which integrated advanced air and ground decision support tools (DSTs) with Controller-Pilot Data Link Communication (CPDLC). In this concept, controller-"managed" aircraft flying under Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) were mixed with free maneuvering aircraft flying under Autonomous Flight Rules (AFR). Under AFR, free maneuvering aircraft were responsible for conflicts with all managed aircraft flying in the same airspace. The results showed a significant potential for capacity gains. The workload correlated primarily with the managed portion of the traffic in mixed operations and the analyses of the controller task load in mixed operations showed a significant reduction of “routine” tasks, such as check-ins and handoffs, as well as route, altitude, and speed clearances. Despite the reduction in workload in mixed operations, controllers had a number of safety concerns, such as over-reliance on automation and lack of situation awareness of AFR aircraft. The findings from the study also suggest that integrated ground-side DSTs in themselves have potential to increase capacity without free maneuvering aircraft. DAG-TM research was funded by the Airspace Systems program as part of the Advanced Air Transportation Technologies project. DAG-TM activities were conducted by NASA Ames, NASA Langley, and NASA Glen Research Center.
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Aircraf, Airspace, Free, Ground-Side, Impact, Maneuvering, Mixed, Operations
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Proceedings of the 24th Digital Avionics Systems Conference, (IEEE Catalog No. 05CH37708C). Piscataway, NJ: IEEE
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Last Updated: August 15, 2019