A Model for Runway Landing Flow and Capacity with Risk and Cost Benefit Factors

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Dept. of Industrial Engineering, Sharif University of Technology, Tehran, Zip 14588,Iran

2 Dept. of Systems Engineering and Operations Research, George Mason University, Fairfax, VA22030, USA


As the demand for the civil aviation has been growing for decades and the system becoming increasingly complex, the use of systems engineering and operations research tools have shown to be of further use in managing this system. In this study, we apply such tools in managing landing operations on runways (as the bottleneck and highly valuable resources of air transportation networks) to handle its optimal and safe usage. We consider a uniform aircraft fleet mix landing on a runway with two major landing risks of wake-vortex encounter and simultaneous runway occupancy. Here, we empirically estimate minimum safe wake-vortex separation thresholds, extend go-around procedure to avoid wake-vortex encounter, and enforce the go-arounds assumed to be risk free. We introduce cost-benefit factors to study implications of enforced go-arounds, and develop models to adjust the average separation to maximize the net economic outcome. This also estimates the runway’s true landing capacity, and provides a ground for quantifying effect of separation variance on optimal throughput. An estimation of the economic effect of wake-vortex phenomenon is also presented. Illustrations are provided through real world data.


Main Subjects

[1] Airports Console International (2010), Annual Traffic data;http://www.aci.aero/Data-Centre/Annual-
[2] Boesel J., Bodoh D. (2004), Simulating Airspace Redesign for Arrivals to Detroit Wayne County
Airport;Proceedings of Winter Simulation Conference; 1318-1325.
[3] Federal Aviation Administration (1993),FAA Order 7110.65, Para 2,1,19 and Para 3,9,6 (September ).
[4] Gerz T., Holzäpfel F., Darracq D. (2002), Commercial aircraft wake vortices;Progress in Aerospace
Sciences 38; 181-208.
[5] Gilbo E.P. Sept. (1993), Airport Capacity: representation, estimation, optimization;IEEE Transactions
on Control Systems Technology 1(3); 144-154.
[6] Hockaday S.L.M., Chatziioanou A. (1986), An analytical method for aircraft collision risk
estimation;Transportation Research Part B 20B(5); 415-428.
[7] Hockaday S.L.M., Kanafani A.K. (1974), Developments in airport capacity analysis;Transportation
Research 8; 171-180
[8] Jeddi B.G., Shortle J.F., Sherry L. (2006), Statistical separation standards for the aircraft–approach
process;Proceedings of 25th Digital Avionics System Conference, Portland, Oregon, USA; 2A11-13.
[9] Jeddi, B.G., Shortle J.F. (2007), Throughput, Risk and Economic Optimality of Runway Landing
Operations;7th Air Traffic Management R&D Seminar, Barcelona, Spain.
[10] Jeddi, B.G., Donohue G.L., Shortle J.F. (2009), A statistical analysis of aircraft landing process;Journal
of Industrial and Systems Engineering 3(3); 152-169.
[11] Jeddi, B.G., (2012), A Note on Runway Capacity Definition, Journal of Industrial and Systems
Engineering, 5(4); pp
[12] Lee D., Kostiuk, P.F., Hemm, R.V., Wingrove III, E.R., Shapiro, G. (1997), Estimating the effects of the
terminal area productivity program;Logistics Management Institute, McLean, Virginia, NASA
Contractor Report 201682.
[13] Newell G.F. (1979), Airport capacity and delays;Transportation Science 13(3); 201-241.
[14] Nolan M.S. (2011), Fundamentals of Air Traffic Control 5th Ed.; Delmar, Cengage Learning.
[15] Reich P. (1964), An Analysis of Planned Aircraft Proximity and Its Relation to Collision Risk, with
Special Reference to the North Atlantic Region 1965-1971; Royal Aircraft Establishment Technical
Report 64042, Famborough. England.
[16] Robins R.E., Delisi D.P. (2002), NWRA AVOSS wake-vortex prediction algorithm version
  • Receive Date: 14 April 2011
  • Revise Date: 08 July 2011
  • Accept Date: 17 September 2011
  • First Publish Date: 01 April 2012