MULTIPLE CURVED DESCENDING APPROACHES AND THE AIR TRAFFIC CONTROL PROBLEM

A terminal area air traffic control simulation was designed to study ways of accommodating increased air traffic density. The concepts that were investigated assumed the availability of the microwave landing system and data link and included: (1) multiple curved descending final approaches; (2) parallel runways certified for independent and simultaneous operation under IFR conditions; (3) closer spacing between successive aircraft; and (4) a distributed management system between the air and ground. Three groups each consisting of three pilots and two air traffic controllers flew a combined total of 350 approaches. Piloted simulators were supplied with computer generated traffic situation displays and flight instruments. The controllers were supplied with a terminal area map and digital status information. Pilots and controllers also reported that the distributed management procedure was somewhat more safe and orderly than the centralized management procedure. Flying precision increased as the amount of turn required to intersect the outer mark decreased. Pilots reported that they preferred the alternative of multiple curved descending approaches with wider spacing between aircraft to closer spacing on single, straight in finals while controllers preferred the latter option. Both pilots and controllers felt that parallel runways are an acceptable way to accommodate increased traffic density safely and expeditiously.

  • Corporate Authors:

    Ames Research Center

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration
    Moffett Field, CA  USA  94035
  • Authors:
    • Hart, S G
    • MCPHERSON, D
    • Kreifeldt, J
    • Wemple, T E
  • Publication Date: 1977-8

Media Info

  • Pagination: 20 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00169580
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: National Technical Information Service
  • Report/Paper Numbers: NASA-TM-78430
  • Contract Numbers: NGL-05-046-002
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Mar 14 1978 12:00AM