Our Operational Risk Collaboration Assistant (ORCA) concept integrates heterogeneous data and advanced analytics to provide airlines and the FAA with models to predict potential operational risks to flight operations into high-traffic airports. We define operational risk from the airline perspective as the likelihood that flights will be delayed, re-routed, or cancelled due to weather, congestion, and FAA decisions.

ORCA aims to support airlines operating in a TBO environment in which they collaborate with the FAA to define objectives, share constraint information, develop plans, and share responsibility in the execution. In this vision, operators require the ability to predict with greater accuracy than today the operating conditions and constraints will develop over the next several hours. Improved predictive capability will enable airlines to build more efficient flight plans and prepare alternatives should operating conditions change.

ORCA will provide airlines with the ability to better predict operational conditions at destination airports, allowing them to build better flight plans and manage their network operations to improve on-time performance, customer satisfaction, and assist the FAA in matching demand at choke points to available capacity. Our tool will also provide a model for airlines to make decisions under uncertainty, balancing the costs of different outcomes. For the FAA, ORCA offers a tool to integrate multiple factors into a probabilistic assessment of ever-changing conditions and their potential impact on flight safety and efficiency.