Technology Development Framework for Air Traffic Control Assisted Airport Procedures in Dynamic Wake Separations

Conference paper
Part of the Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing book series (AISC, volume 786)


The dynamic wake separation concept proposes to increase runway capacity without modifying existing airport infrastructure. Its approach is to discretize current wake aircraft groups by analyzing characteristics of each individual pair of leader and follower aircraft as well as the environment where the aircraft travels. This approach requires a thorough understanding of wake vortex and the parameters that influence wake behavior as well as technologies for its implementation. Aircraft wake research has identified environmental turbulence and aircraft weight as the parameters with the greatest influence on wake circulation strength. The wind has the greatest influence on wake lateral behavior, and aircraft mass, environmental turbulence, and wind have the greatest influence on wake vertical position. This research presents a framework for the technology to assist controllers in the dynamic decision-making process. Computer modeling is used to simulate air traffic control assigned separations to aircraft operations during arrival as well as the environmental conditions in the aircraft flight path. Due to the complexity of dynamic aircraft separations, it is proposed they rely on computer algorithms to determine and communicate the separation needed between each aircraft in the final approach. Results from this research show that due to dynamic wake separations, single runway airport efficiency increases up to 7.5%. These gains are further translated into reductions of emission, fossil fuel consumption and reduced workload on air traffic controllers.


Air transportation Air traffic control Dynamic wake separations Airport efficiency 



This research has been made possible thanks to the research contributions of the Federal Aviation Administration Wake Program, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) wake program, EUROCONTROL, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, WakeNet meeting members, MIT Lincoln Laboratory, and private industry research labs such as the MITRE Corporation.

Disclaimer. The contents of this material reflect the views of the author only. Neither the Federal Aviation Administration nor the United States Department of Transportation nor National Aeronautics and Space Administration nor Virginia Tech makes any warranty or guarantee, or promise, expressed or implied, concerning the content or accuracy of the views expressed herein.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Civil and Environmental Engineering DepartmentVirginia TechBlacksburgUSA

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