Question

The Centerville International Airport has two runways, one used exclusively for takeoffs and the other exclusively for landings. Airplanes arrive in the Centerville air space to request landing instructions according to a Poisson process at a mean rate of 10 per hour. The time required for an airplane to land after receiving clearance to do so has an exponential distribution with a mean of 3 minutes, and this process must be completed before giving clearance to do so to another airplane. Airplanes awaiting clearance must circle the airport.
The Federal Aviation Administration has a number of criteria regarding the safe level of congestion of airplanes waiting to land. These criteria depend on a number of factors regarding the airport involved, such as the number of runways available for landing. For Centerville, the criteria are (1) the average number of airplanes waiting to receive clearance to land should not exceed 1, (2) 95 percent of the time, the actual number of airplanes waiting to receive clearance to land should not exceed 4, (3) for 99 percent of the airplanes, the amount of time spent circling the airport before receiving clearance to land should not exceed 30 minutes (since exceeding this amount of time often would require rerouting the plane to another airport for an emergency landing before its fuel runs out).
(a) Evaluate how well these criteria are currently being satisfied.
(b) A major airline is considering adding this airport as one of its hubs. This would increase the mean arrival rate to 15 airplanes per hour. Evaluate how well the above criteria would be satisfied if this happens.
(c) To attract additional business [including the major airline mentioned in part (b)], airport management is considering adding a second runway for landings. It is estimated that this eventually would increase the mean arrival rate to 25 airplanes per hour. Evaluate how well the above criteria would be satisfied if this happens.


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  • CreatedSeptember 22, 2015
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