Radar-based analysis of the efficiency of runway use
August 6, 2001
The air transportation system faces a challenge in accommodating growing air traffic despite an inability to build new runways at most major airports. One approach to alleviating congestion is to find ways of using each available runway to the maximum extent possible without violating safety standards. Some decision support tools, such as the Final Approach Spacing Tool (FAST) that is a part of the Center TRACON Automation System (CTAS), are specifically targeted toward achieving greater runway throughput by reducing the average landing time interval (LTI) between arrivals at a given runway. In order to understand the potential benefits of such innovations, techniques for detecting spacing inefficiencies and estimating potential throughput improvements are needed. This paper demonstrates techniques for analyzing radar data from actual airport operations and using it to validate, calibrate, and extend analyzes of the FAST benefits mechanisms. The emphasis is upon robust statistical measures that can be produced through automated analysis of radar data, thus enabling large amounts of data to be analyzed.