Network Flow Model
High-level NAS model for optimizing traffic flow
The FAA Airspace Optimization Research project (AOR) is a multi-year effort to apply sophisticated optimization techniques to Air Traffic Flow Management (ATFM) in the National Airspace System (NAS). At the center of AOR is the Network Flow Model (NetFM), a high-level model of the NAS that optimizes traffic flows on a strategic, non-tactical scale. Anticipated end users include the Air Traffic Control System Command Center (ATCSCC) ATFM specialists, but as the capabilities mature, end users would consist of the Air Route Traffic Control Center (ARTCC) and the Terminal Radar Approach Control (TRACON) units. NetFM capabilities will be used by ATFM researchers to explore advanced concepts such as integrated TFM programs like simultaneous Airspace Flow Programs (AFP) and Ground Delay Programs (GDP).
NetFM solutions can be used to guide the placement and timing of Flow Constrained Areas (FCA) and assign flow rates for an AFP. Future NetFM capabilities include suggesting optimal trajectories for specific traffic flows and identifying regions of airspace as candidates for additional capacity. Metron Aviation anticipates that the primary benefits will be in providing decision support tools that will assist the user in making effective ATFM decisions, and in providing a laboratory in which ATFM researchers can study advanced ATFM concepts such as simultaneous AFPs and GDPs.