Systems engineering framework to assess the effect of very large capacity aircraft in airport operations

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Virginia Tech


The purpose of this research thesis is to develop an integrated framework methodology to assess the effects of VLCA operations at existing and future airports. The procedure described here investigates airport, airline and user impacts of VLCA operations using a systems engineering approach to understand the trade-off between economic and technological operational factors. Specific areas included in this systems engineering analysis are: a) the effect of VLCA operations in the airside and runway capacity, b) development of new airfield geometric design guidelines, c) terminal and landside impacts and gate compatibility issues, and d) possible noise and pavement design impacts.

This research defines realistic parametric templates of feasible aircraft design using computer methods [MATLAB, 1992]¹ and then explores the impacts of proposed aircraft designs in airport operations, planning, capacity and economics. The analysis focuses on the airside and landside, terminal capacity, geometric design constraints and pavement and noise impacts of VLCA operations using a systems engineering perspective where aircraft design inputs have quantifiable outcomes on airport capacity, infrastructure changes and ultimately in the cost of operations. The main thrust of this effort is to identify cost effective ways to facilitate the operations of VLCA aircraft at existing and future airports including development of new design guidelines.