henningk
Topic Author
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Joined: Mon Aug 01, 2011 4:28 pm

Aircraft Delays (and Canc.) In Europe/CODA Report

Mon Aug 01, 2011 5:41 pm

Hey everyone!

As a new member I'm excited to be here and to ask my first questions.

I am currently working on my Bachelor's thesis about delay/cancellation management at aiports. I am a business engineer, so my knowledge about the air industry stems from curiosity rather than academic education. So bare with me if some questions are rather stupid  

While examining the CODA Annual report for 2010 (http://www.eurocontrol.int/coda/public/standard_page/coda_public_application.html), I have stumbled across the different types of delay, as the report differentiates between ATFCM delay and "all-causes delay".

It cites the source of the data as:

Quote:
This report gives an overview of the delay situation in the European Civil Aviation Conference Area. It is based on (1) the EUROCONTROL CODA database which contains delay data provided directly by airlines and (2) on EUROCONTROL CFMU data which provide details on most of IFR flights in the European Civil Aviation Conference (ECAC) area. This report has been prepared by the Central Office for Delay Analysis (CODA), a service of EUROCONTROL.

and explains the definition for delay as:

Quote:
In this report the definition of the CFMU Air Traffic Flow and Capacity Management (ATFCM) departure delay is based on the difference between the planned off-block time and the calculated off-block time, taking into account slot time and estimated taxi time. Airline data from the CODA database contain real recorded delays provided to CODA by airlines is based on the difference between scheduled time of departure and off block time.

My first question therefore: can 10 minute delays in ATFCM be compared to 10 minute CODA database delays? It seems to me that they derive their values from different definitions (how is off-block time defined?) and thus cannot easily be compared.

2.: The report provides extensive coverage of "departure delays". However, it also provides information on the the average arrival delay, which is even greater. Do you know any statistics/have an educated guess on what the major contributor for delays occuring on route is?

3. Figure 32 discusses the primary delay causes and differentiates between "other weather" and "ATFCM weather". As far as I can see, this is due to the IATA-Codes so that only the weather at DEST is counted towards ATFCM Restrictions, while all other weather is counted towards IATA-codes 71-79. Is that correct?

4. Figure 20 describes 88.5% of all flights as "on time" by length of ATFCM delay. However, figure 32 credits ATFCM with 32.5% of all primary delay causes. As primary causes attribute for roughly 50% of the all delays, this should put ATFCM at about ~84% "on time". Is this caused by the difference mentioned in my first question?

5. As IATA codes only apply to delays, but not cancellations, are you aware of any cancellation statistics that provide cancellation data? Also, what department at airlines would be best suited for obtaining such data?

Thanks for your help!!

Henning
 
Tristarsteve
Posts: 3359
Joined: Tue Nov 22, 2005 11:04 pm

RE: Aircraft Delays (and Canc.) In Europe/CODA Report

Mon Aug 01, 2011 6:47 pm

Very interesting that so many statistical tables can be constructed from delays.
Good luck with your project, a minefiels awaits.

Quoting henningk (Thread starter):
My first question therefore: can 10 minute delays in ATFCM be compared to 10 minute CODA database delays? It seems to me that they derive their values from different definitions (how is off-block time defined?) and thus cannot easily be compared.

Off block time comes from the aircrafts computors. Usually, the off block time is when the parking brake is released, with all the doors closed, and on some aircraft you also need some movement. ( can be fiddled by most crews!)
The airlines measure delays in minutes, i.e. a 2 min delay is recorded as a delay and given a reason. Now comes the problem. Who decides what the reason is? Sometimes the dispatcher, or the gate manager, or the captain., But they will usually have different ideas. At a major hub, there can be a meeting to decide the delay cause if it was not obvious. Also everyone has budgets to meet. I am in engineering. We must better 99pc on time dep, or questions are asked. But if we are not around at departure time, the dispatcher may call it a technical delay because he dosen't want to have a delay for late loadsheet. But i know how to change delay codes in our system. So I wait until 2330 when the traffic staff have gone home, then change it before it is 'locked' at midnight!! It is unlikely they will check.

Quoting henningk (Thread starter):
The report provides extensive coverage of "departure delays". However, it also provides information on the the average arrival delay, which is even greater. Do you know any statistics/have an educated guess on what the major contributor for delays occuring on route is?

The main cause here is delays before take off. Remember departure is off blocks, the aircraft will then taxi out and queue up for take off. The airline allows time for this in the schedule, but not always enough.

Quoting henningk (Thread starter):
As far as I can see, this is due to the IATA-Codes so that only the weather at DEST is counted towards ATFCM Restrictions, while all other weather is counted towards IATA-codes 71-79. Is that correct?

A big snowstorm at an airfield would produce weather related slot delays for departure.
 
henningk
Topic Author
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Aug 01, 2011 4:28 pm

RE: Aircraft Delays (and Canc.) In Europe/CODA Report

Tue Aug 02, 2011 2:46 pm

Thanks for your reply!

Quoting tristarsteve (Reply 1):
Off block time comes from the aircrafts computors. Usually, the off block time is when the parking brake is released, with all the doors closed, and on some aircraft you also need some movement. ( can be fiddled by most crews!)

So the "calculated off block time" comes directly from the computer (though might be falsified by crew) and is submitted to the CFMU/ATFCM more or less directly?

I still have a small problem distinguishing between ATFCM Delay and IATA Code-Delays...

Let's say I have been assigned a slot for 11:30. Would this be my scheduled time of departure? Or is my scheduled time of departure = slot time - taxi time?
Anyways, now my STD is 11:30, but my off-block time is 11:40, because of a late crew boarding, which would give me a delay of 10 minutes.
Clearly this would be credited as a IATA-Code 63 (if no cheating occurs), but why would this not classify as an ATFCM-delay since I'm not leaving at my planned block-off time?
Or would the crew delay automatically alter my planned blocked-off time, so that only delays resulting after my aircraft is essentially ready count towards ATFCM delays?

Quoting tristarsteve (Reply 1):
The main cause here is delays before take off. Remember departure is off blocks, the aircraft will then taxi out and queue up for take off. The airline allows time for this in the schedule, but not always enough.

That sounds reasonable. Do you (or someone else) know literature that related to this topic, which I can then quote? Or, again, whom to best contact for an interview that I can use for my thesis?


Another, different question: if my DEST airport is experiencing capacity problems, but I'm well on my way, so there's no possibility of delaying/canceling my flight, who decides when I am going to land, or, in very serious cases (airport almost shut down), where I should fly to instead? Again, who would be my best contact or what would be my best literature to refer to?

Thanks again,

Henning
 
henningk
Topic Author
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Aug 01, 2011 4:28 pm

RE: Aircraft Delays (and Canc.) In Europe/CODA Report

Tue Aug 02, 2011 4:24 pm

To clearify...

ATCFM delay is the difference between an ideal ATC-slot after I declared my airplane "ready" and my actual (calculated) ATC-slot provided to me by the CFMU?
At what point does the pilot (or FOO/dispatcher?) apply for an ATC-slot? After doors are shut?
 
JRadier
Posts: 3943
Joined: Mon Sep 27, 2004 11:36 pm

RE: Aircraft Delays (and Canc.) In Europe/CODA Report

Wed Aug 03, 2011 6:53 pm

Quoting tristarsteve (Reply 1):

Off block time comes from the aircrafts computors.

Not always correct, I know that Schiphol ATC uses/used crossing of the red line (=entering/exiting parking position) which is usually the same, but can differ...
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