Optimization Model with Fairness Objective for Air Traffic Management

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Butler, Taryn D.
Ball, Micheal
With the ever-increasing congestion at airports around the world, studies into ways of minimizing delay costs on the ground while meeting the goals of the airlines are necessary. When arrival capacities are reduced at major airports, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issues revised departure/arrival times to prevent congestion at restricted airports. This is referred to as the National Ground Delay Program Problem. A new approach to developing ground delay programs, called Collaborative Decision Making (CDM), is being developed. CDM goals include more information exchange and greater participation on the part of the airlines in determining landing slot allocations. This thesis develops a model specifically for the CDM setting. A key element is the inclusion of a fairness criterion within the underlying optimization model. The fairness criterion seeks to "pay back" an airline for time slots that it is owed but cannot make use of due to mechanical or other difficulties. It also attempts to provide incentives to the airlines to increase the exchange of information. This thesis investigates the Ground Delay Problem relative to a single airport. Different formulations of the integer programming model are given that take into account airport capacities and airline goals and experiments are conducted with realistic data to determine the solvability of the problem. Results for this model are compared with output from the Flight Schedule Monitor (FSM), the CDM decision support tool.