Analyzing the Effect of Delta Airlines' Fleet Upgrade on Operations at Atlanta-Hartsfield Jackson International Airport

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Shlok Misra
Carlos Alberto Castro


Commercial aviation has seen a growth in terms of passengers traveled and flights operated in the past decade (BTS, 2020). To cope up with this growth, airlines adopt various strategies such as network expansion and fleet upgrades. Airlines adopt fleet upgrade strategies to modernize their fleet, reduce costs, expand network coverage, and improve customer loyalty and experience. Research suggests that change in wake turbulence categorization and aircraft performance can directly impact the movements and delays at an airport. For this study, Delta Airline's fleet upgrade program and its effect on operating parameters at Atlanta-Hartsfield Jackson International Airport were analyzed. The operating parameters analyzed for this study included runway delays, take-off delays, and runway movements. The traffic schedule of 11th November 2019 was simulated for the analysis with a total of 2,538 flights. A change in the fleet configuration would lead to a change in the wake turbulence categories of the aircraft that would directly impact operating parameters such as runway movement and delays. The results of the simulation indicate that operating Delta's upgraded fleet would lead to an increase in runway delays and take-off delays and a decrease in runway movement for all five runways at Atlanta. The consistent results across all parameters indicate that Delta's upgraded fleet and the corresponding change in aircraft performance and wake turbulence categorization would lead to a decrease in airport efficiency at Atlanta Airport.

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Author Biography

Shlok Misra, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Daytona Beach

Undergraduate student pursuing B.S Aeronautical Science and a minor in Business Adminsitration and Applied Meteorology