Evaluating NAS Delay Impacts from Orbital Launch Operations at Cape Canaveral and Optimizing Launch Windows
Furr, Tanner Jordin
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The purpose of this study was to determine if there was an impact of Part 121 arrival delays into Orlando International Airport (MCO) due to orbital space launch operations at Cape Canaveral. U.S. Government archival data spanning ten months and over 22,000 flights was accessed and categorized into three research questions by day of week, time of day, and whether or not an orbital space launch occurred during the established time frame. Inferential analysis using the one-way ANOVA (RQ1) and two-way ANOVA (RQ2 and RQ3) was conducted and found no significant differences in average Part 121 arrival delays into MCO due to orbital space launch operations at Cape Canaveral. The study concluded that there is at present no delay impact of statistical or practical significance on MCO from orbital space launch operations at Cape Canaveral that could be detected by the study at hand. While the findings of the current study will certainly stand for a time, in the rapidly changing environments of both Part 121 aviation and orbital space launch operations, it would be wise to monitor this issue on a regular basis.