Route Blockage and En Route Airspace Capacity Reduction Modeling

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Thursday, 2 February 2006: 2:15 PM
Route Blockage and En Route Airspace Capacity Reduction Modeling
A301 (Georgia World Congress Center)
Brian Martin, MIT, Lexington, MA

The reduction of capacity in en route airspace as a result of convective weather is a major concern in contemporary air traffic management (ATM). MIT Lincoln Laboratory has conducted a set of exploratory studies that attempt to model the reduction in capacity that occurs as a result of thunderstorm events. The Weather-Route Blockage (RB) study extends a blockage model developed for the terminal-area Route Availability Planning Tool (RAPT) to the ATC en route environment. We model a surrogate for capacity sector-averaged jet route blockage - as a function of fractional weather coverage. This approach ties estimates of weather impact on en route sector capacity directly to the overlap of the weather and each sector's specific jet route structure.

The Convective Storm Flight Deviation (CSFD) study models pilot decision-making relative to deviations around convective weather in en route airspace. This provides another approach to the calculation of weather impact on capacity, by relating capacity reduction to individual flight response to hazardous weather.

Results and limitations of theses capacity modeling efforts will be presented along with an analysis of new concepts for the estimation of en route airspace capacity reduction during thunderstorms activity.