A Look at Airport Delays Due to Ceiling and Visibility Conditions

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Monday, 18 January 2010
Jennifer Black, NCAR, Boulder, CO; and P. Herzegh, C. Kessinger, B. Lambi, and R. E. Bateman

An improved understanding of C&V impacts on critical airport terminals within the National Air Space (NAS) is essential to help guide effective development and implementation of C&V forecast tools and decision aids focused on improved NAS efficiency. Toward that end, this study examines the pattern of occurrence of impacted C&V conditions and corresponding delays and grounds stops at major air terminals in the United States. We examine the frequency of impacted C&V conditions and related delays by time of day and by month, and seek to relate the timing, duration, and severity of the C&V condition to the severity of resulting traffic delays at the impacted terminals and secondary feeder terminals.

Flight delay data and C&V condition histories are collected for the 35 Operational Evolution Partnership (OEP) airports and smaller feeder terminals as required. Analysis work focuses on a critical subset of OEP terminals including Chicago O'Hare International, Atlanta Hartsfield International, along with other terminals where C&V conditions yield the most significant NAS impacts. These historical data are used to construct real-world scenarios through which current and future C&V forecast skill requirements can be considered and projected toward practical NAS applications.