Skip to main content Accessibility help

Reducing speed commands in interval management with speed planning

  • T. Riedel (a1) (a2), M. Takahashi (a3) and E. Itoh (a2)


Flight-deck Interval Management (FIM) is a modern airborne self-spacing technology that improves arrival route throughput and runway utilisation and increases hourly arrival capacity by up to four aircraft per hour and per runway, compared to conventional air traffic controller guided arrivals. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has been the leader in FIM research and formulated a logic that was put to an actual flight test in 2017. Despite the overall success of the project, operational deficiencies concerning the number of speed commands, which led to several recommendations for future research before operational implementation, were discovered. In this study, a new logic that implements a two-stage rule-based selection algorithm was developed to overcome those deficiencies. The proposed logic was compared to NASA’s logic on an arrival in Tokyo International Airport with multiple induced error patterns. The results indicate that the new logic significantly decreases the number of speed commands with only minor aggravations in spacing performance. The results that highlight the strengths and weaknesses of both concepts are discussed, and an outlook on and ideas for future research on FIM and the proposed logic are presented.


Corresponding author


Hide All
1.JADC, Worldwide Market Forecast 2018–2037., 2018 [Accessed 31 March 2019].
2.ICAO, Doc 9750-AN/963, 2016-2030 Global Air Navigation Plan., 2016 [Accessed 31 March 2019].
3.FAA, NextGen Implementation Plan 2016., 2016 [Accessed 31 March 2019].
4.SESAR, European ATM Master Plan 2015 Edition., 2015 [Accessed 31 March 2019].
5.Study Group for the Future Air Traffic Systems, Long-term Vision for the Future Air Traffic Systems CARATS, Collaborative Actions for Renovations of Air Traffic Systems., 2010 [Accessed 31 March 2019]
6. Baxley, B.T., Johnson, W.C., Scardina, J. and Shay, R.F., Air Traffic Management Technology Demonstration-1 Concept of Operations (ATD-1 ConOps), Version 3.0, NASA/TM-2016-219213, 2016.
7. Bone, R.S. and Mendolia, A.S., Pilot and Air Traffic Controller Use of Interval Management During Terminal Metering Operations, MITRE Technical Report MTR170570, 2018.
8. Abbott, T.S., An Overview of a Trajectory-Based Solution for En Route and Terminal Area Self-Spacing: Seventh Revision, NASA/CR–2015-218794, 2015.
9. Abbott, T.S., An Overview of a Trajectory-Based Solution for En Route and Terminal Area Self-Spacing: Third Revision, NASA/CR–2014-218288, 2014.
10.RTCA, Minimal operational performance standards (MOPS) for flight-deck interval management (FIM), RTCA DO-361, 2015.
11.RTCA, Safety, Performance and Interoperability Requirements Document for Airborne Spacing – Flight Deck Interval Management (ASPA-FIM), RTCA DO-328, 2011.
12. Weitz, L.A. and Swieringa, K.A., Comparing Interval Management Control Laws for Steady-State Errors and String Stability, 2018 AIAA Guidance, Navigation, and Control Conference, Kissimmee, FL, 2018.
13. Bai, X. and Weitz, L.A., Exploring a Model Predictive Control Law to Design Four-Dimensional Trajectories for Interval Management, AIAA Information Systems-AIAA Infotech @ Aerospace, Grapevine, TX, 2017.
14. Bussink, F.J.L., van der Laan, J.J. and de Jong, P.M.A., Combining Flight-deck Interval Management with Continuous Descent Approaches in high density traffic and realistic wind conditions, AIAA Guidance, Navigation, and Control Conference, Minneapolis, MN, 2012.
15. de Gelder, N., Bussink, F.J.L., Knapen, E.G. and in ‘t Veld, A.C., Interval Management Operations in the Terminal Airspace of Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, AIAA Guidance, Navigation, and Control Conference, San Diego, CA, 2016.
16. Itoh, E. and Uejima, K., Applying Flight-deck Interval Management based Continuous Descent Operation for Arrival Air Traffic to Tokyo International Airport, 10th ATM Seminar, Chicago, IL, 2013.
17. Itoh, E., Uejima, K., Kakichi, Y. and Suzuki, S., Modeling and Simulation Study on Airborne-based Energy Saving Arrivals to Tokyo International Airport, AIAA Guidance, Navigation, and Control (GNC) Conference, Guidance, Navigation, and Control and Co-located Conferences, Boston, MA, 2013.
18. Itoh, E., Fukushima, S., Hirabayashi, H., Wickramasinghe, N.K. and Toratani, D. Evaluating energy-saving arrivals of wide-body passenger aircraft via flight-simulator experiments, J Aircraft, November 2018, 55, (6), pp 24272443,
19. Riedel, T., Itoh, E. and Takahashi, M., Investigating Aircraft Speed Control Logics for Interval Management Targeting Arrival Traffic to Tokyo International Airport, Asia-Pacific International Symposium on Aerospace Technology, Seoul, South Korea, 2017.
20. Riedel, T., Itoh, E., Tatsukawa, T. and Takahashi, M., Preliminary Study on Interval Management for Improving Aircraft Speed Command Behavior, 55. JSASS Aircraft Symposium, Matsue-Shi, Japan, 2017.
21. Riedel, T., Takahashi, M. and Itoh, E., Conceptual Design of a Speed Command Algorithm for Airborne Spacing Interval Management, 2018 International Conference on Research in Air Transportation, Castelldefels, Spain, 2018.
22. Riedel, T., A Novel Control Approach to Improve Speed Commands and Pilot Workload for Flight-deck based Interval Management, 31st Congress of the International Council of the Aeronautical Sciences, Belo Horizonte, Brazil, 2018.
23. Swieringa, K.A., Wilson, , Baxley, B.T., Roper, R.D., Abbott, T.S., Levitt, I. and Scharl, J. Flight test evaluation of the ATD-1 interval management application, 17th AIAA Aviation Technology, Integration, and Operations Conference, AIAA AVIATION Forum, Denver, CO, 2017.
24. Baxley, B.T., Swieringa, K.A., Wilson, S.R., Roper, R.D., Hubbs, C., Goess, P. and Shay, R., Flight crew survey responses from the interval management (IM) avionics phase 2 flight test, 17th AIAA Aviation Technology, Integration, and Operations Conference, AIAA AVIATION Forum, Denver, CO, 2017.
25. Baxley, B.T., Swieringa, K.A., Roper, R.D., Hubbs, C., Goess, P. and Shay, R., Recommended changes to interval management to achieve operational implementation, 2017 IEEE/AIAA 36th Digital Avionics Systems Conference (DASC), St. Petersburg, FL, 2017.
26. Eurocontrol Experimental Centre, User manual for the base of aircraft data (BADA) Revision 3.12, EEC Technical/Scientific Report No. 14/04/24-44, 2014.
27.Japan Civil Aviation Bureau: Aeronautical Information Publication AD2-24, RJTT Charts Related to an Aerodrome, Effective: 19 July 2018.
28. Itoh, E., Wickramasinghe, N.K., Hirabayashi, H. and Fukushima, S., Feasibility study on fixed flight-path angle descent for wide-body passenger aircraft, CEAS Aeronaut J, October 2018, 10, (2), pp 589612. doi: 10.1007/s13272-018-0337-9
29.NATS, Aeronautical Information Circular P 001/2015,, 2015 [Accessed 31 March 2019]
30. Baxley, B.T., Palmer, M.T. and Swieringa, K.A., Cockpit Interfaces, Displays, and Alerting Messages for the Interval Management Alternative Clearances (IMAC) Experiment, NASA/TM–2015-218775, 2015.


Reducing speed commands in interval management with speed planning

  • T. Riedel (a1) (a2), M. Takahashi (a3) and E. Itoh (a2)


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed