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Airport Capacity Problem. Southern California Transportation Alternatives LCDR Kirby and LT Burba. Introduction Southern California’s Airports are at Capacity Generally crowded airspace and crowded airports Model of major US airports

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Airport capacity problem

Airport Capacity Problem

Southern California Transportation Alternatives

LCDR Kirby and LT Burba


  • Introduction

  • Southern California’s Airports are at Capacity

  • Generally crowded airspace and crowded airports

  • Model of major US airports

  • Introduction of a High Speed Rail to reduce strain on Southern California’s airports


  • Mark Hansen, a UC Berkeley professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering and the Director of the National Center of Excellence for Aviation Operations Research: “a bullet train could provide congestion relief at major airports like LAX and SFO where costly delays are high and rising by cutting the number of passengers traveling to and from Los Angeles and San Francisco by air. These delays due to airport congestion could benefit high-speed rail.”


Methodology Environmental Engineering and the Director of the 

  • Multi-commodity Flow model

  • Airports represented as nodes

  • Each node capacity based on the average of the peak air traffic (in aircraft) for five days, over 1 year (data from the FAA’s Air Traffic Activity System Database)

  • These are the limiting constraints


  • Methodology (cont’d) Environmental Engineering and the Director of the 

  • Supply and demand:

  • Set by a proportion determined by the population of the cities and the distance between them. The distance factor forces a preference for regional flights over longer ones (distance from mapsoftheworld.com). Validated against FAA database.

  • Based on a “Southwest” type airline


  • Methodology (Cont’d) Environmental Engineering and the Director of the 

  • Flow is restricted, and then the model is run to see how many trains are needed to make up for reduced air carrying capacity.

  • Train capacities assumed to be similar to 450 aircraft.

  • Model will report “infeasible” until a acceptable number of trains is found.


  • Methodology (Cont’d) Environmental Engineering and the Director of the 

  • Model reports an infeasible solution until an acceptable number of high speed rail support is added

  • This is done by adding train nodes until the model finds a solution.

  • All costs based on time.


  • Next Three slides: Environmental Engineering and the Director of the 

  • Division of country into regions

  • Sample airport to airport arcs (there are too many to show on the chart, 169 to be exact)

  • Sample High Speed Rail set up. High Speed Rail does not replace air routes. It merely augments them.


Focus Area Environmental Engineering and the Director of the 

West

NorthEast

MidWest

SouthEast


Train Network Linking Environmental Engineering and the Director of the 

San Diego, Las Vegas and Los Angeles


Sample route
Sample Route Environmental Engineering and the Director of the 

LAXSTRT

SEAEND

Capacity = # flights, Cost = 0 (time)

Capacity = # flights, Cost = 0 (time)

LAXEND

SEASTRT

Capacity = inf. flights, Cost = time of flight


Sample route with train added capacity
Sample Route with Train(added capacity) Environmental Engineering and the Director of the 

LAXSTRT

Dest. Train Sta.

TRNEND

Capacity = people. flights, Cost = time of train ride

Capacity = # flights, Cost = 0 (time)

Capacity = inf, Cost = 30 (time)

LAXEND

TRNSTRT

Dest. Apt.

Capacity = inf, Cost = 30 (time)


Results
Results Environmental Engineering and the Director of the 


First run
First Run Environmental Engineering and the Director of the 

  • Model can’t handle capacity (that’s good!). Only %55 of the total demand.

  • Now, to add a train to a southern California arc (by adding train capacity) and see if that reduces the unmet demand.

  • Goal is to reduce flights with the use of the trains. But, we are trying to show trains will make a difference in the first place.


Subsequent runs
Subsequent Runs Environmental Engineering and the Director of the 

Adding Three trains really didn’t help. Only a change of 1% in the demand not met.


A comparison
A comparison Environmental Engineering and the Director of the 


Interdiction vs demand not met
% Interdiction vs. Demand not Met Environmental Engineering and the Director of the 


Recommendations and discussion
Recommendations and Discussion Environmental Engineering and the Director of the 

  • Flow based on a arbitrary ratio, using population and distance (with a constant). Recommend a more accurate value for commodity flow.

  • Also based on the entire population traveling, that might be a problem


If we only had more time
If We Only Had More Time… Environmental Engineering and the Director of the 

  • Account for the affect car commuters turned train commuters would have on the capacities of the trains

  • Network expansion nationwide

  • Cost in $$$ instead of time


One last thing what would happen if la was leveled
One Last thing… what would happen if LA was leveled? Environmental Engineering and the Director of the 

Turns out, not much! (Almost the same as the previous slide)


  • Bibliography Environmental Engineering and the Director of the 

  • Federal Aviation Administration, Air Traffic Management System and Database: http://aspm.faa.gov/opsnet/sys/Tracon.asp

  • Institute of Transportation Studies, U.C. Berkeley: http://its.berkeley.edu/news/its/20110506

  • Los Angeles Airport News release: http://www.lawa.org/newsContent.aspx?ID=1463

  • The National Center for Excellence for Aviation Operations Research: http://www.nextor.org/

  • Maps of the World: http://www.mapsofworld.com/usa/distance-chart/atlanta-ga.html

  • The Van Allen Institute, High Speed Rail Capacity and Use: http://www.vanalen.org/lasr/theneedforspeed


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