MITRE and FAA Offer New Airport Capacity Tool

MCLEAN, Va., December 30, 2014The MITRE Corporation today announced the release of runwaySimulator, a robust simulation model for conducting rapid analysis of airport capacity. MITRE operates the Center for Advanced Aviation System Development, which is the FAA's federally funded research and development center. MITRE developed runwaySimulator through its internal R&D program and transferred the technology to the FAA. The FAA is now making it available to aviation and airport planning analysts and organizations in support of FAA and other U.S. domestic needs. Users can access the model and request training at http://www.faa.gov/airports/planning_capacity/runwaysimulator.

MITRE has made extensive use of runwaySimulator to estimate airport capacity (i.e., hourly arrivals and departures) at major U.S. airports on behalf of the FAA. The simulation model, which offers higher fidelity than simpler, analytic models, allows researchers to quickly assess the effects of operational changes—e.g., runway closures, arrival-departure windows, or aircraft wake re-categorization—and to study alternative approaches to runway improvements at various airports. The outputs of the model can be used as input to other models, such as those that predict delay. Modeling the effects of changes to existing airports and surrounding airspace is key to planning and prioritizing airport safety and efficiency improvements.

The tool has undergone extensive testing and refinement and has been evaluated by the Transportation Research Board. The Transportation Research Board's Airport Cooperative Research Program recommended runwaySimulator as the model of choice for estimating the capacity of complex airfields (Report 79 – Evaluating Airfield Capacity). The model is available at no charge for domestic use, in keeping with MITRE's mission to serve in the public interest.

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