Validation of EnRoute Capacity Model with Peak Counts from the US National Airspace System
MASSACHUSETTS INST OF TECH LEXINGTON LINCOLN LAB
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Airspace capacity estimates are important for managing air traffic and predicting the effectiveness of new airspace designs and proposed decision support tools. Because air traffic management relies on manual procedures, controller workload determines the traffic limit of most sectors. Current operational procedures for estimating capacity in United States airspace do not account for conflict avoidance and recurring workload. This paper examines a more complete analytical model. Each sector has a capacity determined by the workload intensity of inter-sector coordination, aircraft separation assurance, and repetitive activities. As the total workload intensity approaches unity, the sector reaches capacity. The resulting workload equation is quadratic in traffic count. Its solution provides a simple formula for capacity. In this preliminary study we for the first time determined its parameters by regressing for all sectors in the 20 United States continental centers. We regressed for individual centers and for the overall set of centers. The capacity parameters from the overall regression estimate the inherent capacity potential of a sector. The capacity parameters from a center regression estimate the achieved operational capacity of the sectors in that center. The inherent capacity differs significantly from the achieved capacity for most centers.
- Military Aircraft Operations