Terminal Flight Data Manager (TFDM) runway balancing capability assessment
February 6, 2015
Under the Terminal Flight Data Manager program, new operational improvements are envisioned at a number of large airports. One operational improvement manifests through the Airport Resource Management tool, which seeks to balance departure demand at runways. Another related operational improvement is runway balancing, which is expected to provide greater flexibility in tactical runway assignments. Both improvements are expected to reduce surface delays for departing aircraft. This report provides a study into the potential delay-reduction benefits of both capabilities at three case-study airports (DFW, LAX, and MCO). Through a series of simulation studies, it is found that the benefits associated with each operational improvement are closely linked to departure demand and imbalances in demand across filed aircraft departure procedures. So, while large delay-reduction benefits are expected at LAX--which exhibits both large demand and departure imbalances--smaller benefits are expected at DFW where departure operations are already well-balanced. Meanwhile at MCO, the operational improvements are not expected to reduce delays due to limited departure demand at the airport.