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Central authority controlled air traffic flow management: An optimization approach

Hamdan, Sadeque, Cheaitou, Ali, Jouini, Oualid, Granberg, Tobias Andersson, Jemai, Zied, Alsyouf, Imad, Bettayeb, Maamar, Josefsson, Billy (2021) Central authority controlled air traffic flow management: An optimization approach. Transportation Science, 56 (2). pp. 299-321. ISSN 0041-1655. E-ISSN 1526-5447. (doi:10.1287/trsc.2021.1087) (KAR id:91445)


Despite various planning efforts, airspace capacity can sometimes be exceeded, typically due to disruptive events. Air traffic flow management (ATFM) is the process of managing flights in this situation. In this paper, we present an ATFM model that accounts for different rerouting options (path rerouting and diversion) and pre-existing en-route flights. The model proposes having a central authority to control all decisions, which is then compared with current practice. We also consider inter-flight and inter-airline fairness measures in the network. We use an exact approach to solve small-to-medium-sized instances, and we propose a modified fix-and-relax heuristic to solve large-sized instances. Allowing a central authority to control all decisions increases network efficiency compared to the case where the ATFM authority and airlines control decisions independently. Our experiments show that including different rerouting options in ATFM can help reduce delays by up to 8% and cancellations by up to 23%. Moreover, ground delay cost has much more impact on network decisions than air delay cost, and network decisions are insensitive to changes in diversion cost.

Furthermore, the analysis of the trade-off between total network cost and overtaking cost shows that adding costs for overtaking can significantly improve fairness at only a small increase in total system cost. A balanced total cost per flight among airlines can be achieved at a small increase in the network cost (0.2 to 3.0%) when imposing airline fairness. In conclusion, the comprehensiveness of the model makes it useful for analyzing a wide range of alternatives for efficient ATFM

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1287/trsc.2021.1087
Uncontrolled keywords: Air traffic flow management; mathematical modeling; flight cancellation; flight diversion; path rerouting; ground holding; airborne delay; flight overtaking
Subjects: H Social Sciences
Divisions: Divisions > Kent Business School - Division > Department of Analytics, Operations and Systems
Depositing User: Sadeque Hamdan
Date Deposited: 09 Nov 2021 14:11 UTC
Last Modified: 13 Apr 2022 11:34 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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