Decentralized aircraft landing scheduling at single runway non-controlled airports
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The existing air transportation system is approaching a bottleneck because its dominant huband- spoke model results in a concentration of a large percentage of the air traffic at a few hub airports. Advanced technologies are greatly needed to enhance the transportation capabilities of the small airports in the U.S.A., and distribute the high volume of air traffic at the hub airports to those small airports, which are mostly non-controlled airports. Currently, two major focus areas of research are being pursued to achieve this objective. One focus concentrates on the development of tools to improve operations in the current Air Traffic Management system. A more long-term research effort focuses on the development of decentralized Air Traffic Management techniques. This dissertation takes the latter approach and seeks to analyze the degree of decentralization for scheduling aircraft landings in the dynamic operational environment at single runway noncontrolled airports. Moreover, it explores the feasibility and capability of scheduling aircraft landings within uninterrupted free-flight environment in which there is no existence of Air Traffic Control (ATC). First, it addresses the approach of developing static optimization algorithms for scheduling aircraft landings and, thus, analyzes the capability of automated aircraft landing scheduling at single runway non-controlled airports. Then, it provides detailed description of the implementation of a distributed Air Traffic Management (ATM) system that achieves decentralized aircraft landing scheduling with acceptable performance whereas a solution to the distributed coordination issues is presented. Finally real-time Monte Carlo flight simulations of multi-aircraft landing scenarios are conducted to evaluate the static and dynamic performance of the aircraft landing scheduling algorithms and operation concepts introduced. Results presented in the dissertation demonstrate that decentralized aircraft landing scheduling at single runway non-controlled airports can be achieved. It is shown from the flight simulations that reasonable performance of decentralized aircraft landing scheduling is achieved with successful integration of publisher/subscriber communication scheme and aircraft landing scheduling model. The extension from the non-controlled airport application to controlled airport case is expected with suitable amendment, where the reliance on centralized air traffic management can be reduced gradually in favor of a decentralized management to provide more airspace capacity, flight flexibility, and increase operation robustness.
Ding, Yuanyuan (2007). Decentralized aircraft landing scheduling at single runway non-controlled airports. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from