NYSERDA Contract May Help To Improve Efficiency, Reduce
Sensis Corporation is developing a prototype Departure
Manager, an airport operations decision support application, under
a million-dollar project co-funded with the New York State Energy
Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA). The Sensis
Departure Manager will be designed to provide air traffic
controllers and airline ramp managers with a decision support tool
that automates departure sequencing recommendations while
maximizing runway utilization and minimizing aircraft taxi time at
capacity constrained airports.
U.S. airports operate under a "first-come, first-served"
departure sequence, whereby departure clearance is given by the
local controller in the order in which the departure request is
made by the pilot, adding extra time between departures to
accommodate safety and airspace constraints. Consequently,
departure queues form at the ends of runways and other points on
the airport surface as aircraft await clearance to depart, causing
aircraft to burn more fuel and emit more greenhouse gases.
The Sensis Departure Manager calculates the preferred pushback
time for each aircraft to form an optimal departure sequence that
minimizes excess taxi time and departure runway aircraft queuing.
The Departure Manager will consider numerous constraints and
factors affecting the departure sequence, including flight
departure time, Air Traffic Control traffic management initiatives,
traffic flow constraints, wake vortex spacing rules and current
airport configuration. As a result, the Departure Manager will
maximize runway utilization by using all available runway departure
slots while reducing queue delays and taxi times. By reducing taxi
times, the Departure Manager also enables reductions in fuel burn
and emissions which lower airline operational costs and reduce an
airport's environmental footprint. Ultimately, the Departure
Manager will improve traveler satisfaction with more predictable
flight schedules and fewer airport-related delays.
"At capacity-constrained airports, non-optimal departure
sequencing can contribute to long taxi times and departure delays,"
said Ken Kaminski, director of advanced development at Sensis
Corporation. "The Sensis Departure Manager will automatically
provide air traffic controllers and airline ramp managers with a
near-optimal departure sequence to maximize runway use and minimize
taxi times and emissions. We are targeting a 10 percent improvement
in runway throughput and taxi time reductions of one minute per
aircraft with the Departure Manager."
Francis J. Murray, Jr., NYSERDA President and CEO, noted that
"unnecessary airport departure delays can be very costly to the
airlines, wasteful of energy and harmful to the environment.
For instance, according to industry statistics, in one recent year,
the average departure delay was 12 minutes per flight, resulting in
$9 billion in delay and fuel costs to the airlines. NYSERDA has
provided $499,751 of the project's total value of $1,001,702.
NYSERDA believes that the Sensis approach can eventually be applied
to minimize this problem, not only in New York State's major
airports, but in airports worldwide."