Runway Bottleneck Optimising the Optimum

The author discusses the growing gap between capacity and demand, where the former often fails to meet the latter at airports worldwide, but especially in Europe. The author observes that the physical constraints of the runway system, which is dictated by arrivals and departures, creates the weakest link in the aviation chain that clearly shows the limits of capacity. It is suggested that more creative interplay between air transport partners (airlines, airports, air navigation services), coupled with the adoption of new technologies, can provide opportunities at major international airports that might solve the capacity problem. The article discusses the unprecedented air transport growth worldwide, particularly in the Middle East and China; consistent optimizing capacity, as experienced in Germany via air traffic control at both Frankfurt and Munich airports. One key to optimizing capacity is collaboration -- between navigation service providers, airlines and airport authorities. The international hubs of Frankfurt and Munich are cited as examples of such collaboration through their use of new collaborative technologies such as 4D Planner, a second-generation arrival manager that has been in use at Frankfurt Airport since 2003. The software permits arrival sequencing based on real-time data. It also uses data derived from flight plans, radar, weather reports, and aircraft performance to reduce controllers' workloads at busy hubs. Regarding departure management, the author cites Zurich Airport's "darts," a departure manager that compiles large data sets (e.g., startup times, taxi times, placement of push-back vehicles, availability of departure routes, blocked taxiways) to integrate with different processes – from enroute clearance to start up to taxiing to departure route selection. The author notes that the final element to manage airport bottlenecks is the controller in the tower, who uses knowledge, experience, and skills to optimize arrival and departure management into one integrated system. Research studying how controllers can connect arrival and departure management systems, using Frankfurt Airport as an example show promise in real-time simulations.

  • Availability:
  • Authors:
    • Kaden, Dieter
    • Riedle, Ralph
  • Publication Date: 2007-3


  • English

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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01052291
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jun 29 2007 7:18AM