Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2018, Vol. 73 ›› Issue (10): 2001-2013.doi: 10.11821/dlxb201810013

• Traffic and Geopolitical Relations • Previous Articles     Next Articles

The design of China's corridors-in-the-sky and the influence of air routes traffic on the identification of space-time congestion

DONG Yaqing1(),LU Zi2(),LIU Yuan1,ZHANG Qiuluan2   

  1. 1. School of Resource and Environment Sciences, Hebei Normal University, Shijiazhuang 050024, China
    2. School of Tourism, Hebei Normal University, Shijiazhuang 050024, China
  • Received:2017-08-03 Online:2018-10-25 Published:2018-10-25
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.41671121


The rapid development of air transport has increased air traffic flow. Corridors-in-the-sky have become a new technology to support the full development and utilization of airspace resources due to its high-density air traffic flow. The identification of congestion period and congestion segment is the foundation of lanes distribution and the operation of activation and deactivation in corridors-in-the-sky. This paper proposes a method which can design corridors-in-the-sky, and identify air congestion and the influence of air routes traffic flow. Based on heavy traffic air routes, locations of corridors-in-the-sky are determined, and the routes-attendees are determined based on distance constrain. Particularly, fourteen corridors-in-the-sky of China are designed. Through space-time data calculation, space-time map compilation, grid frequency filtering and threshold setting, a congestion period and congestion segment are identified in this paper according to the times of overlap and the frequency of the hottest grids. The influence of heavy traffic air routes is also analyzed through the two indexes of scale value and aggregation value. We have the following findings: the congestion period of corridors-in-the-sky presents the structural characteristics of the multi-peak "wavy" scattered distributions, and the later aggregated distribution of top peaks in the whole day. The congestion segment is presented as the structural features of unbalanced coverage and centralized distribution of crossings. The highly congested corridors-in-the-sky are presented as an italic "N" font frame, which is not fully integrated with centralized small segments. In a spatial and temporal interaction, there are two types of congestion segments, single-period and multi-period overlap, and there are some common congestion periods in different congestion segments of multiple corridors-in-the-sky. The heavy traffic air routes play a decisive role in the congestion of corridors-in-the-sky, and the influence of the two directions on arrival and departure is unbalanced. The congestion identification of air traffic is helpful for the dynamical evaluation of China's airspace resource, which can provide a basis for the distribution of corridors-in-the-sky in the future of China.

Key words: corridors-in-the-sky, congestion identification, air routes traffic flow, space-time map, China