Meeting Air Transportation Demand in 2025 by Using Larger Aircraft and Alternative Routing to Complement NextGen Operational Improvements
10th AIAA Aviation Technology, Integration, and Operations (ATIO) Conference
A study was performed that investigates the use of larger aircraft and alternative routing to complement the capacity benefits expected from the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen) in 2025. National Airspace System (NAS) delays for the 2025 demand projected by the Transportation Systems Analysis Models (TSAM) were assessed using NASA's Airspace Concept Evaluation System (ACES). The shift in demand from commercial airline to automobile and from one airline route to another was
... estigated by adding the route delays determined from the ACES simulation to the travel times used in the TSAM and re-generating new flight scenarios. The ACES simulation results from this study determined that NextGen Operational Improvements alone do not provide sufficient airport capacity to meet the projected demand for passenger air travel in 2025 without significant system delays. Using larger aircraft with more seats on high-demand routes and introducing new direct routes, where demand warrants, significantly reduces delays, complementing NextGen improvements. Another significant finding of this study is that the adaptive behavior of passengers to avoid congested airline-routes is an important factor when projecting demand for transportation systems. Passengers will choose an alternative mode of transportation or alternative airline routes to avoid congested routes, thereby reducing delays to acceptable levels for the 2025 scenario; the penalty being that alternative routes and the option to drive increases overall trip time by 0.4% and may be less convenient than the first-choice route. I.