The design team is developing new or altered aircraft routing into and out of the New York Metropolitan area. The area covers the current controlled airspace of the New York Terminal Radar Control Facility or TRACON. This area encompasses roughly a 50-mile radius around the TRACON facility and varies in altitude from the surface, close into the New York airports, up to 18,000 feet further away. Current radar technology limits the number of routes into and out of the TRACON. The air traffic controllers must direct all traffic on routes that are spaced apart a specific distance. This causes a “bottleneck” into the metropolitan area.
The concept for modifications of existing routing adds more routes into and out of the TRACON area. Airlines accomplish this by using advanced onboard navigation systems, such as Global Positioning System (GPS), Loran, Flight Management System (FMS) and 3-D navigation. Also, the greater navigational accuracy of these systems allows for the design of closely spaced routes. So, air traffic controllers can control aircraft at closer lateral distances. The advanced navigation systems minimize aircraft drift, reducing workloads on both pilots and controllers. Having the aircraft maintain an accurate track in the sky will allow for less radar vectors, an intensive procedure currently used.
This concept will increase allowable throughput, while reducing delays and mileage when exiting and entering the TRACON area. In addition, this concept provides a more efficient use of the airspace since it will spread traffic flow, reducing the traffic traversing the same routes.