Enhancing Airport Capacity

Traffic volume at European airports is growing at a rapid pace, with the highest ever-reported daily traffic volume of 31,914 flights occurring on September 15, 2006. The author cites a recent joint study by the European Civil Aviation Conference and EUROCONTROL, the European Organization for the Safety of Air Navigation. The study warns that this rate of traffic volume is unsustainable, predicting congested conditions in 60 % of European airports by 2025 if no action is taken. Moreover, the top 20 airports would experience between six to eight hours of total saturation each day. To address the need for a viable solution, EUROCONTROL has formed the Airport Capacity Enhancement (ACE) team to perfect a methodology and airport throughput tools through the development of a model that identifies and overcomes capacity constraints. In discussing the ACE model in detail, the article notes benefits for those airports that have used its concepts, including improvements in runway efficiency, identification and abatement of local problems, and more effective communications. Other benefits have included reduced environmental impact, due to aircraft spending less time in holding patterns, both on the ground and in the air. The article also discusses the impact of improved communications and knowledge sharing through Collaborative Decision-Making (CDM), a system that connects databases and adapts operational data to allow for continuous sharing at all times.


  • English

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  • Accession Number: 01049965
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: May 21 2007 7:09AM