Peak-load pricing for the European Air Traffic Management system using modulation of en-route charges
This paper extends the use of peak-load pricing (PLP) to the context of the European Air Traffic Management system, as EU regulation No 391/2013 allows the modulation of en-route charges to avoid network capacity-demand imbalance in a specific area or on a specific route at specific times. In particular, we propose a centralised approach to PLP (CPLP) where a Central Planner (CP) is responsible for setting en-route charges on the network and Airspace Users (AUs) assess the routing of each flight. Set en-route charges should guarantee that air navigation service providers (ANSPs) are able to recover their operational costs, and that AUs perform their flights avoiding imbalances between demand and available airspace capacity. Like in the current charging system, in CPLP AUs react to en-route charges (which are imposed by CP instead of ANSPs) by choosing alternative and cheaper routes. Hence, we model this relationship between the CP and the AUs as a Stackelberg game where a leader (CP) makes his/her decision first, with complete knowledge on how the follower(s) (AUs) would react to it. The Stackelberg equilibrium is obtained by means of an optimisation problem formulated as a bilevel mixed-integer linear programming model, where the CP sets, for each ANSP, one peak and one off-peak en-route charge and the AUs make their routing choice. Preliminary results on real data instances on a regional scale are presented.