Strategy for Attending Takeoffs and Landings to Reduce the Aircraft Operating Costs and the Passenger Delays
The objective of this research was to establish and evaluate a strategy for attending to the takeoffs and landings at congested airports, in order to reduce aircraft operating costs and passenger delay times. The continuous growth of air transport activity has created congestion at many major airports worldwide. As a consequence, aircraft must often remain in waiting lines before they could be attended onto the runways for takeoff or landing. This in turn increases the aircraft operating costs and passenger discomfort. In the strategy proposed the traditional rule for attending to aircraft, on a first-come-first-served basis, was substituted with a sequence that reduces operating costs and passenger delays. The order of attention given to each aircraft was obtained using a heuristic algorithm that did not require enumeration of all the possible sequences. Consequently, the solution could be obtained in a short time. Results when using this strategy showed that significant reductions of up to 47.6% in operating costs and 73.2% in passenger delays could be achieved. The main contribution of this paper is the establishment of a strategy that makes possible these savings. The amount of benefits achieved depends on the proportion of aircraft wake turbulence classes that operate in a given airport. In general, the largest benefits are obtained when there is a mixture of different classes and when they are in a proportion of 40% small and 60% heavy. By utilizing the strategy proposed herein it is possible to obtain significant benefits for both airlines and passengers.