May 7, 2009

Weather Reroutes, Simplified

During normal operations, the BOS arrivals fly the Gardner3 Arrival route (Pink line). Westbound departures (Blue line)fly over MHT to SYR then somewhere farther west. A typical weather pattern, shown above, such as today, prevents Gardner3 arrivals from getting to Boston safely, so they are rerouted over Kennebunk, ME and then a fix called SCUPP and then direct Boston from the northeast (Red line). This works out well for the arrivals, obviously, but please note how the arrivals and departures from Boston now cross just east of SYR. This situation puts a lot of extra work load on the UCA/ART sector where this occurs.

Now remember that when weather sets in it never affects just one airport. This one new traffic flow situation is multiplied by the number of airports needing reroutes, then subtract all the airspace that is unusable due to the actual weather. I'm not very good at math, but I believe that adds up to a long night.

Till next time...

PS. I'm roadtripping to Denver for my brother's college graduation for the next two weeks so here is a double dip of blogging for today!



Golf Whiskey said...

Maybe I'm missing something, but wouldn't the crossing departure & arrival streams already be separated vertically, based on AFDOF?

deltamike172 said...

Perhaps I've oversimplified the situation...but yes, they are mostly separeted vertically. The issue is that during normal operations one sector works the eastbound flow and another sector works the westbound flow. During the reroute, all Bostons are being worked by one sector in both directions. The reason I simplify it is to show how just one reroute affects this one sector about 300 miles from the weather. The issue is that there are BTV, YUL, ALB, MHT and BDL departures that are still climbing where the Bostons are now crossing the departure flow. Normally, these departures are just all climbing in the same direction and its easy to prevent convergance. Opposite direction traffic makes things MUCH more complicated in terms of a scan for traffic.

Golf Whiskey said...

I see. Thanks for the clarification. Keep up the good work!