A departure regulator for closely spaced parallel runways
Robeson, Isaac J.
MetadataShow full item record
Increased efficiency at airports is necessary to reduce delays and fuel consumption. Many of the busiest airports in the nation have at least one pair of closely spaced parallel runways (CSPRs), defined by a separation of less than 2500 ft, with one runway dedicated to arrivals and the other to departures. CSPRs experience a large decrease in capacity under instrument conditions because they can no longer operate independently. In order to mitigate this decrease in capacity and to increase efficiency, proposed herein is a departure regulator for runways so configured, along with a plan of study to investigate the effects of this regulator. The proposed departure regulator makes use of data from precision tracking systems such as ADS-B to issue automated or semi-automated departure clearances. Assuming sequential departure separations are sufficient for clearance, the regulator will automatically issue, or advise the controller to issue, the departure clearance as soon as the arrival on the adjacent runway has descended below its decision height. By issuing the departure clearance earlier, the departure regulator reduces the gap between a pair of arrivals that is required to clear a departure. By decreasing the gap, the regulator increases the number of opportunities where a departure clearance can be issued, given a particular arrival stream. A simulation models the effects of the regulator and quantifies the resulting increases in capacity. The simulation results indicate that all forms of the regulator would provide significant gains of between 14% and 23% in capacity over the current operating paradigm. The results also indicate that the capacity gains are greatest at high arrival rates. Therefore, implementation of the departure regulator could significantly decrease the congestion at many major airports during inclement weather.