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Dynamic Control of Airport Departures: Algorithm Development and Field Evaluation

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3 Author(s)
Ioannis Simaiakis ; McKinsey & Co., Washington, DC, USA ; Melanie Sandberg ; Hamsa Balakrishnan

This paper proposes dynamic-programming-based algorithms for controlling the departure process at congested airports. These algorithms, which are called Pushback Rate Control protocols, predict the departure throughput of the airport and recommend a rate at which to release aircraft from their gates in order to control congestion. This paper describes the design and field testing of a variant of Pushback Rate Control at Boston airport in 2011 and the development of a decision support tool for its implementation. The analysis of data from the field trials shows that during eight 4-h test periods, fuel use was reduced by an estimated 9 U.S. tons (2650 U.S. gallons), and taxi-out times were reduced by an average of 5.3 min for the 144 flights that were held at the gate.

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Intelligent Transportation Systems  (Volume:15 ,  Issue: 1 )