Mathematical Analysis of Runway Scheduling with Aircraft Precedences

Liers F, Martin A, Peter A (2017)

Publication Language: English

Publication Type: Other publication type

Publication year: 2017


Runways are one of the most valuable recourses in Air Traffic Management (ATM) and need to be managed as efficiently as possible. At the airports, usually one planning tool schedules the arrivals (arrival planner), whereas another tool schedules the departures (departure planner). These separate planners are coordinated by some cooperation tool. In this paper, we address the question whether this planning strategy is or could ever be (almost) optimal. In fact, there could be situations in which an integrated planner that schedules both arrivals and departures simultaneously might compute considerably better schedules.

In this work, we study the runway scheduling problem with aircraft precedences and safety distance constraints. We consider two extreme scenarios. In the best-case scenario, the two planners cooperate completely in order to determine optimized schedules. In the worst-case scenario, however, the planning tools compete and act as adversaries. Using techniques from mathematical optimization, we model these two scenarios. We experimentally evaluate the approaches on randomly generated instances with respect to running times for solving the problems to global optimality and with respect to the computed throughput. On small examples, we show that indeed there can be large differences in the runway utilization in the two scenarios. It would be interesting to investigate whether today’s real schedules are closer to the best-case or closer to the worst-case scenario in order to understand whether the development, implementation and maintenance of an integrated tool could pay off.

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How to cite


Liers, F., Martin, A., & Peter, A. (2017). Mathematical Analysis of Runway Scheduling with Aircraft Precedences.


Liers, Frauke, Alexander Martin, and Andrea Peter. Mathematical Analysis of Runway Scheduling with Aircraft Precedences. 2017.

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