As space vehicles travel through the national airspace systems during the launch and re-entry stages, many believe that the increasing commercial space activities will have significant impacts on commercial aviation. Airlines, in particular, are apprehensive about the immediate negative effects in terms of flight time delays, uncertainties, and costs and are increasingly expressing their concerns to government. Meanwhile, the commercial space launch industry is advancing innovation and fueling state economic growth. Hence, the safe and effective integration of commercial launch activities into airspace is of national concern. Finding an equitable solution for commercial space and for commercial airlines is clearly a mission of national aviation authorities.
This study uses simulation modelling with Total Airspace and Airport Modeler (TAAM) to analyze the potential impacts of commercial space vehicle launch activities on airlines, but also to examine possible solutions to minimize airspace closures and allow for equitable air space use while maintaining safe operations for all. Our preliminary results show moderate increases in fuel burns and total flight time delays associated with a single horizontal launch operation, due to the forecasted growth of airline traffic within the hazard areas of launch activities. By varying times of airspace closures, we analyze alternative scenarios by assessing the relative benefits of possible responses to ATC needs and strategies.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/chunyan-yu/58/