Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Industrial Engineering (MSIE)


Industrial Engineering

First Advisor

Steven J. Landry

Committee Chair

Steven J. Landry

Committee Member 1

Daniel DeLaurentis

Committee Member 2

Hong Wan


Critical Pair Identification works as a potential assistive tool for human air traffic controllers by identifying potentially dangerous situations that are not detected by proposed automated separation assurance systems. This concept specifically considers conflicts that might arise if aircraft unexpectedly deviate from their planned flight path in the near future. Five metrics of the critical pair concept, Critical Pair Count, Time to Risk Exposure, Lead Time, Risk Exposure Duration and Blunder Sensitivity Index, have been developed and mathematically defined to characterize the safety level of an aircraft pair or a volume of air space. Algorithm that computes proposed metrics is developed in the study. The metrics are calculated in four-aircraft test scenario simulation and the results have shown that aircraft pairs that have separated by automated separation assurance tools may still have critical pair metric values that suggest a potentially dangerous situation.