Identifying functional requirements for flexible airspace management concept using human-in-the-loop simulations
2011 IEEE/AIAA 30th Digital Avionics Systems Conference
Flexible Airspace Management (FAM) is a midterm Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen) concept that allows dynamic changes to airspace configurations to meet the changes in the traffic demand. A series of human-in-the-loop (HITL) studies have identified procedures and decision support requirements needed to implement FAM. This paper outlines a suggested FAM procedure and associated decision support functionality based on these HITL studies. A description of both the tools used to
... pport the HITLs and the planned NextGen technologies available in the mid-term are presented and compared. The mid-term implementation of several NextGen capabilities, specifically, upgrades to the Traffic Management Unit (TMU), the initial release of an en route automation system, the deployment of a digital data communication system, a more flexible voice communications network, and the introduction of a tool envisioned to manage and coordinate networked ground systems can support the implementation of the FAM concept. Because of the variability in the overall deployment schedule of the mid-term NextGen capabilities, the dependency of the individual NextGen capabilities are examined to determine their impact on a mid-term implementation of FAM. A cursory review of the different technologies suggests that new functionality slated for the new en route automation system is a critical enabling technology for FAM, as well as the functionality to manage and coordinate networked ground systems. Upgrades to the TMU are less critical but important nonetheless for FAM to be fully realized. Flexible voice communications network and digital data communication system could allow more flexible FAM operations but they are not as essential.