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NextGen flight deck surface trajectory-based operations (STBO): Contingency holds  (2013)
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The purpose of this pilot-in-the-loop taxi simulation was to investigate a NextGen Surface Trajectory-Based Operations (STBO) concept called "contingency holds." The contingency-hold concept parses a taxi route into segments, allowing an air traffic control (A TC) surface traffic management (STM) system to hold an aircraft when necessary for safety. Under nominal conditions, if the intersection or active runway crossing is clear, the hold is removed, allowing the aircraft to continue taxiing without slowing, thus improving taxi efficiency, while minimizing the excessive brake use, fuel burn, and emissions associated with stop-and-go taxi. However, when a potential traffic conflict exists, the hold remains in place as a fail-safe mechanism.


In this departure operations simulation, the taxi clearance included a required time of arrival (RTA) to a specified intersection. The flight deck was equipped with speed-guidance avionics to aid the pilot in safely meeting the RTA. On two trials, the contingency hold was not released, and pilots were required to stop. On two trials the contingency hold was released 15 sec prior to the RTA, and on two trials the contingency hold was released 30 sec prior to the RTA. When the hold remained in place, all pilots complied with the hold. Results also showed that when the hold was released at 15-sec or 30-sec prior to the RTA, the 30-sec release allowed pilots to maintain nominal taxi speed, thus supporting continuous traffic flow; whereas, the 15-sec release did not. The contingency-hold concept, with at least a 30-sec release, allows pilots to improve taxiing efficiency by reducing braking, slowing, and stopping, but still maintains safety in that no pilots "busted" the clearance holds. Overall, the evidence suggests that the contingency-hold concept is a viable concept for optimizing efficiency while maintaining safety.
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Contingency, deck, flight, holds, NextGen, operations, STBO, surface, trajectory-based
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Proceedings of the 32nd Digital Avionics Systems Conference, Syracuse, NY, Oct. 2013
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Curator: Phil So
NASA Official: Alonso Vera
Last Updated: August 15, 2019