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Embed code for: Capacity Increase
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Briefing paper on the expected increase in capacity if TTS is implemented
Capacity Increase Atlanta Airport (ATL) routinely operates more than 800 arrivals and departures daily. The approach control air traffic structure uses a standard “4 post” arrival scheme. This means that aircraft from all over the world that intend to land at ATL will end up over one of the four posts to be handled further by the approach control facility. Aircraft are sequenced from the enroute air traffic centers as general lines to each post. These “lines” of aircraft are placed “in trail” to each other by an amount specified by the Atlanta enroute center. This amount in normally around 20 miles in trail. This means that every aircraft must be 20 miles behind the next aircraft in line travelling toward one arrival post. I will use the arrival post located to the north east of Atlanta Airport for this capacity example. The arrival fix we are using for this example is code named “WINNG”. Aircraft that departed in the north east from Norfolk and counter clockwise until about Cleveland Ohio, in addition to overseas locations such as Western Europe, would normally be routed over this arrival fix. From 01/2016 To 08/2016 ; Airport=ATL : Use Flight Plan Facility Calendar Year Scheduled Departures Scheduled Arrivals % On-Time Gate Departures % On-Time Airport Departures % On-Time Gate Arrivals ATL 2016 293,123 292,983 83.47 76.96 87.14 Sources: Aviation System Performance Metrics (ASPM) The primary line of traffic to the WINNG arrival is handled by the Washington and Atlanta Enroute Centers. New York and Boston Center feed into the top of this line. By the time this line exits Washington Center Airspace, North East of the Charlotte Airport, The aircraft are lined up 20-25 miles in trail to each other. Atlanta Center then takes over and mixes in 2 more lines of traffic and is feeding the Atlanta Approach Control nearly a continuous line of aircraft 10 to 15 miles in trail to each other. What do you think happens if a thunderstorm develops anywhere near this line of aircraft? That’s a discussion for another white paper. During peek periods there is no additional room for aircraft to enter this line. During these periods when more aircraft that could possibly fit into the line wish to depart, they are delayed on the ground or enter airborne holding. This causes travel delays even on a day without severe weather. The FAA does a really good job of calculating airport capacity and controlling volume into the airports but is limited by the maximum capability of the system. When weather comes into play, the situation gets very complex and it is virtually impossible to control the situation perfectly. So instead of a line of airplanes in the air 10 miles apart, imagine the TTS operating in its place. The Eastern Tube Trunk would contain separate tube sets for Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Washington, Norfolk, and Charlotte. That’s six lines of “aircraft” 10 miles apart going to the same place. We have just increased capacity by 6 times and that assumes we need 10 miles of spacing between the tube transports themselves as a safety buffer. The real bonus is that there would be no weather inside the tubes. DeHart / @TubeTransport