Statistical Characteristics of Aircraft Arrival Tracks

The statistical characterization of flight tracks is a critical component of safety analysis models. This paper presents an analysis of multilateration data that uses an extension of an algorithm. Key results are as follows: the separation distribution does not appear to change much at different points along the approach path. The left tail of separation (corresponding to the smallest separation values) decays faster than a normal distribution. This is positive from a safety perspective. If this behavior is extrapolated beyond the observed data, one can conjecture that smaller separations have probabilities that rapidly decay to effectively zero. Lateral positions near the threshold do not appear to be heavy tailed, either. Finally, estimates of the final approach separation variability are consistent with previously published results.


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  • Accession Number: 01151150
  • Record Type: Publication
  • ISBN: 9780309160476
  • Report/Paper Numbers: 10-2888
  • Files: TRIS, TRB, ATRI
  • Created Date: Jan 25 2010 11:25AM