Michael O. Ball

Funding Agency

Federal Aviation Administration




Managing demand to capacity periods in Air Traffic Management (ATM) can be improved with increased data quality, modeling and information exchange. Current shortfalls in ATM are linked to trajectory uncertainty. Some of this uncertainty is due to the inherent uncertainty in the time required to accomplish basic processes and uncertainty
in physical phenomena, including weather. Other uncertainty may be due to the timing and characteristics of the data provided by air carriers. This historical performance provides a
backdrop to the on-going substantial evolution of the National Airspace System (NAS), and specifically the transition to trajectory-based-operations (TBO). Recent studies suggest that the quality of airline flight planning data provided to FAA contributes to the performance of GDPs and AFPs.

Ball and his colleagues will provide a more nuanced understanding of the extent of the uncertainty in traffic management initiative (TMI) input data related to airline
inputs and develop strategies to improve the data provided. Based on this enhanced understanding, potential policy and operational changes should be made to improve overall NAS performance and help individual airlines meet their internal goals. The work pays particular attention to the concepts and policies of Collaborative Decision Making (CDM) developed jointly by the FAA and the flight operators. Using their Simulation Model established in previous contracts, UMD will investigate the benefit of newer and more accurate flight time information from airlines and develop policies to encourage them to update their information more frequently.

One year contract, $54,800.