Dynamic airspace configuration (DAC) algorithms strive to restructure the U.S. National Airspace System (NAS) in ways that allow air traffic control to better manage aircraft flows. Although past research has largely focused on enroute airspace in clear weather conditions, the principle of better matching airspace structure to ambient conditions has potential to benefit airport terminal areas, which are often impacted by congestion due to convective weather, especially during summer months when travel demand is high. This paper studies the problem of dynamic airspace configuration in the terminal area given a stochastic model of route availability during convective weather conditions. An integer programming model is proposed for the dynamic reconfiguration of the terminal area. This model recommends small changes to airspace structure that alleviate airspace congestion, while limiting disruptions to air traffic control procedures. The model is tested against actual weather scenarios, and shows promising benefits to operations.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.