An analysis of the impacts of wake vortex restrictions at LGA
September 16, 2002
Project Report ATC-305, MIT Lincoln Laboratory
Wake vortex restrictions at New York's La Guardia airport cause a significant reduction in capacity when aircraft land on runway 22 and depart on runway 31. This report presents an analysis of the annual delay cost at LGA associated with the wake vortex restrictions. We find that the delay due to these restrictions exceeds 4000 hours annually, and that these restrictions cause a significant workload increase to controllers at both La Guardia and the New York TRACON. If traffic levels were to increase 10% from their February 2001 levels, the corresponding increase in delay due to the wake vortex restrictions would rise from 30 hours a day to over 400 hours a day in this runway configuration. It is also found that for a meaningful increase in passenger capacity in this runway configuration to be as demand grows, restrictions must be reduced from their current levels. If the percentage of heavy/757's doubled at LGA, there would be no increase in passenger capacity while daily delays in this runway configuration due to current wake vortex separation standards would increase by 250 hours.