Air traffic flow management at airports : a unified optimization approach
Author(s)Frankovich, Michael Joseph
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Operations Research Center.
Dimitris J. Bertsimas.
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The cost of air traffic delays is well documented, and furthermore, it is known that the significant proportion of delays is incurred at airports. Much of the air traffic flow management literature focuses on traffic flows between airports in a network, and when studies have focused on optimizing airport operations, they have focused largely on a single aspect at a time. In this thesis, we fill an important gap in the literature by proposing unified approaches, on both strategic and tactical levels, to optimizing the traffic flowing through an airport. In particular, we consider the entirety of key problems faced at an airport: a) selecting a runway configuration sequence; b) determining the balance of arrivals and departures to be served; c) assigning flights to runways and determining their sequence; d) determining the gate-holding duration of departures and speedcontrol of arrivals; and e) routing flights to their assigned runway and onwards within the terminal area. In the first part, we propose an optimization approach to solve in a unified manner the strategic problems (a) and (b) above, which are addressed manually today, despite their importance. We extend the model to consider a group of neighboring airports where operations at different airports impact each other due to shared airspace. We then consider a more tactical, flight-by-flight, level of optimization, and present a novel approach to optimizing the entire Airport Operations Optimization Problem, made up of subproblems (a) - (e) above. Until present, these have been studied mainly in isolation, but we present a framework which is both unified and tractable, allowing the possibility of system-optimal solutions in a practical amount of time. Finally, we extend the models to consider the key uncertainties in a practical implementation of our methodologies, using robust and stochastic optimization. Notable uncertainties are the availability of runways for use, and flights' earliest possible touchdown/takeoff times. We then analyze the inherent trade-off between robustness and optimality. Computational experience using historic and manufactured datasets demonstrates that our approaches are computationally tractable in a practical sense, and could result in cost benefits of at least 10% over current practice.
Thesis (Ph. D.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Sloan School of Management, Operations Research Center, 2012.Cataloged from PDF version of thesis.Includes bibliographical references (p. 137-140).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Operations Research Center.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Operations Research Center.