Realistic Speed Change Maneuvers for Air Traffic Conflict Avoidance and their Impact on Aircraft Economics



Sharp increase in air traffic densities in the world over the last decade made many researchers prompted to investigate innovative air traffic management concepts to improve the current air traffic capacity and economic performance of aircraft. Providing aircraft operators more freedom to choose their trajectories is one of them. In such an air traffic environment, resolution of aircraft conflicts is a key element for both flight safety and aircraft economics.

This study analyzes the economic performance of a specific conflict resolution strategy based on speed change between two aircraft in terms of extra time and fuel consumption. In this strategy, minimum time solutions are investigated without violating safe separation and realistic operational constraints for various flight and conflicts conditions in horizontal plane. Maneuver models include detailed aerodynamic and engine characteristics to make a more accurate analysis, which is very critical for both safety and economic efficiency concerns.

Using speed change alone seems unattractive since it requires longer resolution time than heading change. On the other hand, speed change maneuvers can support heading change maneuvers and extend their range of application especially for small route crossing angles. Study of such isolated conflict resolution cases can be an effective tool for both aircraft operators and air traffic system designers to make a complete economic performance analysis of flight in possible future scenarios.


Keywords: Aircraft Economics, Air Traffic Control, Conflict Resolution, Trajectory Optimization

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