Leveraging local ADS-B transmissions to assess the performance
of air traffic at general aviation airports
The University of Maryland and the Ohio State University are collaborating on a project to develop a novel hardware and software architecture for locally and automatically recording air traffic operations data at general aviation airports, including those that primarily serve smaller aircraft. Many of these airports do not have any other means, such as control towers, to collect such data. A primary purpose of the data is to collect variables and parameters that are informative to models of airfield capacity, which the airports can then use to make arguments for federal support of capacity enhancement projects. Ancillary uses include flight logging at the airport and collection of pilot performance statistics for co-located flight training schools. The data collection platform is based on ADS-B data collected at 1090 and 978 MHz. The data architecture is connected to the Amazon Web Services cloud computing environment. Various pre-processing and filtering stages are demonstrated to clean up the data. Some techniques for dealing with unreliable data are described. Finally, we show how to use the resulting data to compile air traffic performance metrics of interest for small airports, including aircraft approach speeds and runway occupancy times.
David Lovell, Ph.D., is a professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Maryland, College Park. He holds a joint appointment with the Institute for Systems Research. He is also the director of the Gemstone Honors Program and a faculty member in the Applied Mathematics & Statistics and Scientific Computation program. Dr. Lovell was faculty advisor for the Engineers Without Borders – UMCP and Maryland Sustainability Engineers student chapters for 8 years. He has led numerous educational and engineering trips with students to countries in Asia, South America, and Africa. He was awarded the 2012 EWB-USA Peter J. Bosscher Faculty Adviser Award and the 2014 Poole & Kent Senior Faculty Teaching Award. In 2015, was inducted into the ODK Leadership Fraternity.