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SYST 460/560 FALL 2009


August, 2009

Introduction to Air Traffic Control (ATC) is for those who plan professions in the air transportation industry. Surveys the entire field, presenting the history of ATC and how it came to be as it is, the technology on which the system is based, the procedures used by controllers to meet the safety and efficiency goals of the system, the organizational structure of the FAA, challenges facing the system, and means under investigation to meet these challenges. Fieldwork will be required to acquire and analyze airport operational data.

Attendance of lectures will be available through Web Conferencing once the semester is underway. To attend on-line students must: (1) obtain instructor permission, (2) pass an AdobeConnect profiency test, and (3) demonstrate ownership of a microphone/headset

Instructor:  Dr. Lance Sherry 
Contact Info:,  703-993-1711
Location:  Engineering Building, Room 1204, Mondays 7:20-10:00pm
Office Hours:  Wednesdays 4:00-6:00pm or by appointment

Week Date Topic Material Homework/Quiz
1 31/08 Syllabus Review
Aerodynamics Lecture Handout Quiz #01
09/07 Labor Day - No class
3 09/14 Introduction to Airport Design and Operations Introduction to Airports Workbook  (.pdf) Quiz #2
Airport Diagrams Airport Diagram Workbook  (.pdf)
4 09/21 Air Traffic Control 1 (Asynchronous) deNeufville/Odoni 13
Intro to ATC Workbook 
Low Altitude Aero Chart for ORD;
Nested Closed-loop Model of ATC & ATM; Asynchronous Learning Wiki 
Responses due 9/23 10pm. Comments due 9/27 10pm
5 09/28 Air Traffic Control 2
6 10/05

Garmin 430 Desktop Simulator

Flight 1455 Accident Report Flight 1455 Case Study Workbook  (.pdf)
7 10/12 Mid-Term Exam Mid-Term Exam Part I Aero Sim 
Mid-Term Exam Part II (NTSB Report Analysis) 
Due 10/19 Start of Class (Hard-copies)
8 10/19 Runways deNeufville/Odoni 9-1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
9 10/26 Capacity of a Single Runway deNeufville/Odoni 10-2, 5, 6
Runway Capacity Workbook (.pdf)
Runway Capacity Spreadsheet (.xls)

10 11/02 Capacity of a Runway Systems

deNeufville/Odoni 10-4
Runway System Capacity Workbook (.pdf)
Capacity Coverage Chart Workbook (.pdf)

Taxiway Capacity deNeufville/Odoni 10-7
Taxiway Capacity Workbook  (.pdf)

Ramp Capacity deNeufville/Odoni 10-7
Ramp Capacity Workbook  (.pdf)
Role of Airport Operators 
Guest Lecture: Jim Wilding (former President MWAA)
11 11/09 Mid-Term Exam Mid-term Exam II Runway Capacity & Throughput 
Due 11/16 Start of Class (Hard-copies)
12 11/16 Delays 1

deNeufville/Odoni 11, 23
Stochastic and Deterministic Delays Workbook 

13 11/23 Delays 2

Aviation Environment - Water
deNeufville/Odoni 10-6 
Aviation Environment - Water Workbook (.pdf)

Aviation Environment - Air deNeufville/Odoni 10-6
Aviation Environment - Air Workbook  (.pdf)

Aviation Environment - Noise deNeufville/Odoni 10-6
Aviation Environment - Fundamentals of Noise Workbook 
Aviation Environment - Fundamentals of Noise Workbook 

Thanksgiving Break
15 12/07 Safety Safety Workbook  (.pdf)
16 12/14 Final Exam

* Dates all tentative, subject to change without notice.

Text Books:
1.  Airport Systems: Planning, Design and Management – Richard deNeufville, Amadeo Odoni  (2003) ISBN 10-0-07-138477-4
(Note: This book is the text-book for the follow-on course OR750/SYST660)

Other Sources:
2.    Terminal Chaos (AIAA, Library of Flight) George Donohue and Russel D. Shaver III. ISBN – 978-1-56347-949-6
3.    Air Transportation Systems Engineering (Progress in Astronautics and Aeronautics, 193). George L.Donohue and Andres G. Zellweger (Editors), American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, AIAA, 2001.
4.    Fundamentals of Air Traffic Control – Michael S.Nolan ISBN 0-534-39388-8
5.    How to Become a Pilot – FAA
6.    Private Pilot – Jepperson
7.    Understanding Mathematics for Aircraft Navigation – James S. Wolper
8.    Flying the Big Jest – Stanley Stewart
9.    Optimizing Jet Transport Efficiency – Carlos E. Padilla
10.    Airport Operations – Norman Ashford, H.P. Martin Stanton
11.    Air Traffic Control. Order 7110.65P, Federal Aviation Administation, February 2004.
12.    FAA Airport Capacity Benchmark Report 2004. Federal Aviation Administation, 2004.
13.    Flight to the future : Human Factors of Air Traffic Control. Christopher D. Wickens, Anne S. Mavor, and James, P. McGee, editors ; Panel on Human Factors in Air Traffic Control Automation, National Academy Press, 1997.
14.    Airline Operations Research, by Dusan Teodorovic. Gordon Breach Publishers, 1991.
15.    Air Transport Systems Analysis and Modelling (Transportation Studies), by Milan Janic, Gordon Breach Inc., 2001.
16.    Transportation Demand Analysis. Adib Kanafani. McGraw-Hill, 1983.
17.    Issues in Air Transportation and Airport Management, TRB 1094, Transportation Research Board, 1986.
18.    Integrated Noise Model User's Manual V. 6.0. Federal Aviation Administration - ATAC, 2000.
19.    National Airspace System Plan 4.0, FAA, March 1999.
20.    Securing the Future of U.S. Air Transportation: A System in Peril, Committee on Aeronautics Research and Technology for Vision 2050, Studies and Information Services, National Research Council (NRC).

  1. This course is intended to provide an introduction to Air Traffic Control (ATC) for those who plan to work or conduct research in the aviation industry.
  2. It is a required course for those students interested in specializing in air transportation systems by taking more in-depth courses.
  3. The course will survey the entire field, providing an understanding of the components and operation of the National Airspace System (NAS). 
  4. The course will include aircraft operations and systems, airline operations, air traffic control operations, systems and technologies, and the structure and functions of the FAA.
  5. The course will include the measurement and study of the performance of the NAS.
  6. The course will involve class participation, regular homework, simulation and modeling, site visits, and some field work collecting and analyzing data.
Student Objective:
Students will learn the necessary basic knowledge in air traffic management of the air transportation system. This course prepares students for work in the industry and for conduct of graduate studies and research.

Relationship to Other Courses:

This is a required course for graduate students in air transportation systems. This course is prerequisite for OR750/SYST660.

Expectations for Student Participation:
This course material is dominated by knowledge (facts). As a consequence, it is expected that each student spend 30 minutes (min) each day testing their knowledge on the subject of the prior week using the Test Question Data-bank. Remember, “learning takes place at the time of failure of expectation.” This expectation is required of each student.
Student Obligations:

    * Student obligations:
    * Complete reading assignments and complete workbooks
    * Homework/quiz turned in at start of class
    * Late penalty 10%
    * Mid-term Exams (Closed book)
    * Final Exam (Closed-book)
    * Field trips


    * Homework/Quizzes (25%)
    * Mid-term Exam 1 (25%)
    * Mid-term Exam 2 (25%)
    * Final Exam (25%)

Academic Honesty:
Honor Code strictly enforced.
Suspected violations will be reported

Office Hours:
Wed 4pm – 6pm, Room 4507, Engineering Building,, 703-993-1711