Airspace Alternatives for TRACON Operations in California

Example of GRADE using PDARS data

Design and analysis of airspace alternatives for TRACON operations

ATAC was contracted to provide expert technical and analytical services to the FAA Western-Pacific Region (AWP). To meet the complex requirements for this project, ATAC applied their state-of-art airspace design and analysis tools, including GRADE and Simmod PRO!. GRADE was used to visualize and analyze complex airspace structures and procedures in use and to design potential operational alternatives. Simmod PRO! was applied to simulate air traffic operations for the proposed alternatives to quantitatively evaluate such operational impacts as capacity, delay, travel time, sector loading and aircraft operating costs.

The Southern (SCT) and Northern (NCT) TRACON airspace analysis and design project contained several different analysis objectives focused on the specific objectives of each facility. Specifically, for SCT, three alternatives were evaluated:

  • The "Segregated Final Approach Procedure" for small and heavy aircraft weight groups during peak traffic periods for Los Angeles International Airport;
  • The "LAX Arrival Enhancement Procedure", a proposed dual arrival stream for turbojet aircraft inbound to Los Angeles International Airport from the east
  • An evaluation of flight time impacts associated with potential routing changes associated with the proposed Terminal and Regional Airspace (TARA) concept.
In conjunction with this effort, two proposed new STARs to San Francisco International and Oakland Airports were evaluated as well as three vertical ceiling alternatives for the new NCT facility.

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