Illustration of the variant of the point-merge procedure used in the real-time simulation.
Our glossary contains frequently used terms and acronyms together with their explanations.

Simulations for the validation of novel procedures

Simulations are ideally suited for the design and validation of procedures in air traffic management. In these cases, a series of different iterative simulations is used. Currently, for example, a point-merge procedure is being designed and subsequently validated. This procedure is based on technologies that have already been introduced and enable continuous descent without restricting landing capacity. Under ideal conditions, this procedure could also increase capacity and, with the appropriate support systems (such as an expanded arrival planning system), it could also reduce the workload of the air traffic controller.

The development of this procedure used a series of consecutive fast-time and real-time simulations. As a first step, a real-time simulation with a limited scope was conducted to investigate its basic feasibility. This simulation led to the following findings: The current arrival procedure (transition to final) enables a higher arrival capacity, but does not allow the use of continuous descent approach (CDA). CDA is more environmentally friendly, but is only feasible at off-peak times in the early mornings and late evenings. Maintaining high capacity and simultaneously using the more environmentally friendly approach procedures are not easy to implement with conventional procedures. More investigations are needed in this area. Initially, these will be carried out with fast-time simulations. Based on these, the procedures will be developed further in real-time simulations with increasing scope and subsequently validated. The existing simulations have also illustrated the high complexity of the procedure in the terminal control area.