As anyone who has ever tried to explain NextGen to friends or family knows, it’s not always easy to communicate NAS capacity issues to a lay audience.
I’ve gotten interested in how information graphics and rich web scripting tools can help make some of these concepts more approachable. Here’s my first experiment, a simple app that allows you to play with factors that may contribute to capacity needs in 2030.
Move the sliders, and see how the factors affect passenger counts, ATC operations, delays, etc.
A few small items to round out the week, none of which merits a full post on its own:
- 38 Part 139 airports have gotten new RNAV approaches for Christmas, bringing the total number around the U.S. to 425. Among the beneficiaries: SeaTac and Washington Dulles, who went from 1 to 6 approaches and 2 to 7 approaches respectively. (You may remember that both airports inaugurated new runways last month.)
- DFW officially and ceremoniously opened its new southeast perimeter taxiway this week. Airport execs have said that once the three remaining portions are completed, DFW will have raised its capacity by 30 percent with no new runways.
- The FAA broke ground on a new national ATC command center yesterday near Warrenton, VA. It’s planned that the Potomac TRACON will also move in when the building is completed in 2011.
Read the gory details in this IATA press release. Did we mention that cargo contracted 7.9% in October alone? The market’s reaction was swift and merciless — Bloomberg story is here.
The U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics released its most current monthly data on passenger traffic today, and the picture is fairly grim. Total July traffic (year-over-year) declined 2.9%, but that number is a bit misleading because the international portion was up 1.3%. Looking only at the domestic passenger count, traffic was down 3.5%. (The complete BTS press release is here.) Compared to one year ago, only US Airways and Airtran added capacity; JetBlue was basically flat, and Northwest and SkyWest were down sharply.