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Coordination between sectors in shared airspace operations  (2014)
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Recent studies have shown that a more efficient use of airspace may involve shared airspace operations, i.e., temporal as well as spatial separation of arrival and departure flows [1][2]. Temporal separation would permit a departure aircraft to fly through an arrival flow, depending on an available gap. This would necessitate careful and precise coordination between controllers in different sectors. Three methods of coordination which permit the penetration of a controller's airspace by another controller's aircraft are described: point out, look- and-go, and prearranged coordination procedure. Requirements of each method are given, along with associated problems that have surfaced in the field as described by Aviation Safety and Reporting System (ASRS) and other reports. A Human-in-the-Loop simulation was designed to compare two of the methods: point out and prearranged coordination procedures. In prearranged coordination procedures (P-ACP), the controllers control an aircraft in another controller's airspace according to specified prearranged procedures, without coordinating each individual aircraft with another controller, as is done with point outs. In the simulation, three experienced controllers rotated through two arrival sectors and a non-involved arrival sector of a Terminal Radar Approach Control (TRACON) airspace.

Results of eighteen one-hour simulation runs (nine in each of the two conditions) showed no impact of the coordination method on separation violations nor in arrival times for 208 departing aircraft crossing an arrival stream. Participant assessment indicated that although both coordination conditions were acceptable, the prearranged coordination procedure condition was slightly safer, more efficient, timely, and overall, worked better operationally. Problems arose in the point out condition regarding controllers noticing acceptance of point outs. Also, in about half of the point-out runs, time pressure was felt to have had an impact on when and if the departures could cross an arrival stream. An additional problem with point outs may be confusion in the field about which controller has responsibility for separating point-out aircraft from other aircraft.
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airspace, between, Coordination, operations, sectors, shared
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Proceedings of the 33rd Digital Avionics Systems Conference. Colorado Springs, CO: IEEE
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Adobe PDF Icon  Parke_et_al_DASC2014.pdf (Download Acrobat Reader Click to download Adobe Acrabat Reader)
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Curator: Phil So
NASA Official: Joey Mercer
Last Updated: August 15, 2019