Evaluation of the Capacity and Delay Benefits of Terminal Air Traffic Control Automation
MASSACHUSETTS INST OF TECH LEXINGTON LINCOLN LAB
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This report reviews the benefits that the CTAS component of the FAA Terminal Air Traffic Control Automation program TATCA offers to aviation users. In particular, the report evaluates the prospects that exist for increasing arrival capacity during Instrument Meteorological Conditions IMC by introducing CTAS functionality into current operations. The impact of anticipated capacity gains on air traffic delays is analyzed. Savings in delay are translated into dollar savings using FAA statistics on the fleet-weighted direct cost of delay to domestic air carriers. Also, the value of passenger time is considered. Economic impacts are estimated and reported on an annualized, nationwide basis. Adopting FAA projections of future traffic growth, estimates of delay and attendant cost savings to air carriers and their passengers are provided for fiscal years 1995-2015. Taking the nominal estimate of a 12 gain in IMC arrival capacity, a nationwide implementation of CTAS would be estimated to save an average of 412,000 hours of air carrier delay annually over this 21- year period, and 273 million gallons of fuel per year. With current fuel and labor costs, this amounts to average direct operating savings to air carriers of 1.5 billion per year, and value to passengers of over 3 billion per year, in constant 1988 dollars. There may be factors outside the scope of this study that restrict the implementation of CTAS to certain sites, or that limit the weather conditions in which CTAS is effective. Methods are discussed in the report for modifying benefits estimates in response to such considerations.
- Air Navigation and Guidance