Operational Data Analysis

CNA has a long history of conducting operational data analyses for our government clients. Our analysts understand the data as well as the operational implications of the data. This approach has proved valuable in answering the difficult questions our clients face in their daily operations. CNA Enterprise Systems and Data Analysis has conducted a wide range of operational data analyses, to include establishing operational projections, developing future operational scenarios, and identifying the operational impacts of system changes.

Air Traffic Data Analysis

Our analysts are comfortable dealing with massive datasets, an expertise acquired over years of using and helping to develop the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA’s) operational flight data archives. We have been engaged in analyzing raw data from the new satellite-based surveillance technologies in order to answer questions about airport surface movement. Because of our experience with these data sources and our analytical expertise, we are often called on by the Department of Justice and the FAA’s International Affairs office (for example) to provide ad hoc analyses.

General Aviation Cargo

CNA evaluated the impact of converting Brown Field, a small general aviation airport near San Diego, CA, into a large cargo facility. By using historical flight data and modeling tools, coordinating with Southern California TRACON, and using the Brown Field developer's own Airport Master Plan, we analyzed the traffic patterns, density, and airspace to demonstrate the detrimental impact of the conversion on safe air traffic operations through increased congestion for commercial, general aviation, and military flights in the region.

Modeling and Simulation, Metrics Development

CNA’s modeling and simulation work is used to help make predictions so that our clients can make more informed decisions. We use advanced statistical, database, and geographic information system (GIS) tools to provide decision-makers with an understanding of the relationship between system metrics, and to understand what factors drive performance.

Air Traffic Delay Prediction

CNA supports the FAA in providing predictions of changes in air traffic delays at airports based on airline fleet plans (aircraft purchases and retirements), announced and projected network changes, and airport construction plans. These types of predictions help the FAA make decisions, for example, where future airport improvements may need to be made, or if operational restrictions should be imposed. We have developed metrics and methodologies to enable the FAA to determine the difference between identification of the source of airspace system delay and the propagated effect of a delay generated at another location.

National Airspace System Behavior Modeling

CNA also served as a key analytical resource to the FAA’s Performance Analysis and Strategy (PAS) Group to model and simulate the behavior of our National Airspace System (NAS) in order to assess the impact of proposed system changes. We tracked the fleet plans and publicly stated network evolution strategies of the major airline carriers. Leveraging these data to forecast airline schedules over five years, we modeled future scenarios of air traffic demand at airports and en route facilities. To generate a complete picture of the NAS, we also tracked trends and projected future levels of traffic for users of the system other than the major airlines and their affiliates.