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The Effectiveness of a Route Crossing Tool in a Simulated New York Airspace  (2015)
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Congested airspace is the cause of many delays in the terminal area and these delays can have a ripple effect on the rest of a nation's airspace. The New York terminal area is an example of where this happens in the U. S. An important goal, therefore, is to increase the efficiency of operations in congested terminal airspace where possible. Modeling studies of arrival and departure flows have shown that sharing of arrival and departure airspace increases efficiency in terminal operations. One source of inefficiency in terminal operations is that departure aircraft are frequently held level under arrival flows when it would be more efficient to climb the departure aircraft earlier. A Route Crossing Tool was developed to help controllers climb Newark (EWR) departures to the south earlier by temporarily sharing airspace with arrivals coming into LaGuardia (LGA) from the south. Instead of flying under the arrivals, a departure to the south could climb earlier by flying through the arrival airspace if there was a suitable gap between arrivals. A Human-in-the-Loop (HITL) simulation was conducted in this environment which compared three tool conditions: Baseline (no tool), a Single Route Crossing tool in which one route through the arrival flow was evaluated for crossing, and a Multi-Route Crossing tool in which five parallel routes were evaluated. In all conditions, the departures could be held level under the arrival flow. The results showed that controllers climbed a higher proportion of departures in the Multi-Route tool condition than in the other two conditions, with a higher proportion of departures climbed in smaller gaps and in front of trailing arrivals. The controllers indicated that the Multi- Route and Single Route tools helped them estimate distances more accurately and rated safety, workload, and coordination in the simulation as acceptable.
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air traffic control tools, aircraft fuel efficiency, aircraft trajectory efficiency, decision support tools, terminal airspace
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Eleventh USA/Europe Air Traffic Management Research and Development Seminar, ATM2015 (Paper 470), EUROCONTROL/FAA. Lisbon, Portugal
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Curator: Phil So
NASA Official: Joey Mercer
Last Updated: August 15, 2019