National Airspace System Performance Analysis Capability - NASPAC

Federal Aviation Administration and The Mitre Corporation

NASPAC was designed to model the nation's airports en route structure, and traffic flows as a network of inter-related components and to address system-wide performance issues. The simulation model represents the movement of individual airframes through the sequence of flights that each will complete during the simulated day.

The model represents airports at an aggregate level, and as such, it does not explicitly model runways, taxiways, gates, and other elements of the airport system (see description on SIMMOD). An aggregate representation is most appropriate since the simulation model is designed to study nationwide system performance issues and not localized impacts of improvements in detail.

Airports are generally represented by separate departure and arrival "servers" that share the available runway capacity. The servers share airport capacity to reflect procedures used by controllers during periods when arrival or departure demand is especially heavy. This reflects the ability of many airports to adapt to variations in demand loads. For example, during a departure "push" at a hub airport, controllers may stretch out arriving aircraft to permit one or more aircraft to depart between successive arrivals, and when the arrival demand is heavy, controllers may hold departures to serve arriving flights.

Outputs of the model include customized reports and graphics displays.

Benefits of SIMSCRIPT II.5: NASPAC models and tools are being applied in analyses of potential improvements in the National Airspace System to reduce delays and increase throughput. These models and tools are uniquely capable of quantifying the effect of these improvements on the entire system.

Customer Quote: "Based on these models and tools, NASPAC can provide a more quantitative foundation for FAA decisions related to design, improvement, and management of the National Airspace System."