AERONAUTICAL JOURNAL, vol.121, no.1239, pp.680-692, 2017 (SCI-Expanded)
Air Traffic Management (ATM) research generally focuses on achieving a safer, more effective and economical air traffic system. The current airspace system has become increasingly strained as the demand for air travel has steadily grown. Innovative, proactive and multi-disciplinary approaches to research are needed to solve flight congestion and delays as a consequence of this rapid growth. As a result of this growth, air traffic flow becomes more complex, especially in Terminal Airspaces (TMA) where climb and descent manoeuvres of departing and arriving flights take place around airports. As air traffic demand exceeds the capacity in a TMA, the resultant congestion leads to delays that spread all over the system. Therefore, the reduction of delays is critical for airspace designers to increase customer satisfaction and the perception of service quality. Numerous studies have been conducted to reduce delays within TMAs. This research focuses on defining the causes of delays quantitatively through statistical analysis. The first step was to create a fast-time simulation model of sample airspace for collecting delay data. After building up this model using the SIMMOD fast-time ATM simulation tool, simulation experiments were run to produce various traffic scenarios and to generate traffic delay data. The number of airports, entry points, fixes and flight operations in airspace and the probability of wide-body aircraft were considered as independent variables. The correlations between the considered variables were analysed, and the total delay data was modelled using a linear regression model. The findings of regression model present a statistical approach for airspace designers and air traffic flow planners.