A rescheduling method for conflict-free continuous descent approach Conference Paper uri icon


  • This paper presents a rescheduling method for solving the conflicts between arriving aircraft which fly their preferred descent paths using the continuous descent approach. The proposed approach is a centralized control solution and based on the 4-D trajectory concept. Each aircraft calculates its 4-D trajectory and the Estimated Time of Arrival before initiating descent procedure, and reports the 4-D trajectory to the terminal area controllers at the destination airport. The reported 4-D trajectories are used for arrival sequencing. The objective is to minimize the total delay while keeping the inbound traffic conflict-free. The rescheduling problem is formulated as a Mixed Integer Linear Program and solved with CPLEX. The solution is the delay assignments which aircraft use to adjust the arrival time for conflict avoidance. A minimum in-trail separation is imposed between successive arrivals to meet the arrival rate of the airport. The proposed approach leads to a conflict-free inbound traffic. Most importantly, it benefits the continuous descent approach in a sense that the conflicts are solved without changing the user-preferred trajectories, and the CDA trajectories are keep intact. Simulation results reveal that the re-scheduling algorithm is able to de-conflict all the arriving aircraft with different prescribed horizontal separation settings in a full day terminal airspace operation at Newark Liberty International Airport. The runtime of the algorithm is within a reasonable time horizon. Benefits analysis indicates that 80 tonnes fuel and 638 minutes flight time are saved as a consequence of employing the conflict-free CDA. © 2011 by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Inc. All rights reserved.

author list (cited authors)

  • Cao, Y., Rathinam, S., & Sun, D.

publication date

  • December 2011