Cruise Speed Reduction for Ground Delay Programs: A Case Study for San Francisco International Airport Arrivals

Delgado, L., Prats, X. and Sridhar, B. (2013) Cruise Speed Reduction for Ground Delay Programs: A Case Study for San Francisco International Airport Arrivals. Transportation Research Part C: Emerging Technologies, 36. pp. 83-96. ISSN 0968-090X

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Ground Delay Programs (GDP) are sometimes cancelled before their initial planned duration and for this reason aircraft are delayed when it is no longer needed. Recovering this delay usually leads to extra fuel consumption, since the aircraft will typically depart after having absorbed on ground their assigned delay and, therefore, they will need to cruise at more fuel consuming speeds. Past research has proposed speed reduction strategy aiming at splitting the GDP-assigned delay between ground and airborne delay, while using the same fuel as in nominal conditions. Being airborne earlier, an aircraft can speed up to nominal cruise speed and recover part of the GDP delay without incurring extra fuel consumption if the GDP is cancelled earlier than planned. In this paper, all GDP initiatives that occurred in San Francisco International Airport during 2006 are studied and characterised by a K-means algorithm into three different clusters. The centroids for these three clusters have been used to simulate three different GDPs at the airport by using a realistic set of inbound traffic and the Future Air Traffic Management Concepts Evaluation Tool (FACET). The amount of delay that can be recovered using this cruise speed reduction technique, as a function of the GDP cancellation time, has been computed and compared with the delay recovered with the current concept of operations. Simulations have been conducted in calm wind situation and without considering a radius of exemption. Results indicate that when aircraft depart early and fly at the slower speed they can recover additional delays, compared to current operations where all delays are absorbed prior to take-off, in the event the GDP cancels early. There is a variability of extra delay recovered, being more significant, in relative terms, for those GDPs with a relatively low amount of demand exceeding the airport capacity.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Ground delay program; Speed reduction; Airborne delay; Delay recovery; Fuel consumption; K-means clustering;
Subjects: University of Westminster > Architecture and the Built Environment
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Date Deposited: 19 Jul 2016 09:56
Last Modified: 22 Mar 2018 14:10

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