Adaptive rescheduling of airline flights

Ground holding is one of the safest and most effective management strategies available to airlines and airspace regulators when their carefully designed schedules are disrupted. When the already limited capacity of airports and airspace is restricted, most commonly by adverse weather, flights are delayed by keeping them on the ground at their point of departure. Flight delays propagate through the schedule because delayed flights may have connections to many successors. Usually disruptions can be anticipated, and it is necessary for services to be rescheduled as quickly as possible.

We have developed a multistage model for the adaptive rescheduling of air services in response to repeatedly updated reports of airport capacity restrictions. Since some flights will be in progress when each capacity emergency occurs, this Model for Adaptive Rescheduling of Flights in Emergencies (MARFE) needs to model airborne delay, and it provides for diversion of flights. It also allows for flight cancellations, and discourages arrivals during a curfew.

Further work remains to be done in the implementation of weak successors. As distinct from strong successors, weak successors are flights that are not necessarily cancelled in response to cancellation of a predecessor flight. Computational experiments for networks of two or more capacitated airports could give further validation of this model, and understanding of its power and its limitations.

Contact Kevin White for more information.

PhD students

Kevin White, 2012, Ground Holding Optimisation and Air Schedule Recovery.

Key publications

JA Filar, P Manyem, DM Panton & K White, 'A model for adaptive rescheduling of flights in emergencies (MARFE)', Journal of Industrial and Management Optimization, vol. 3, no. 2, 2007, pp. 335-356. 

JA Filar, P Manyem, MS Visser & K White, 'Air traffic management at Sydney with cancellations and curfew penalties', in P Pardalos and V Korotkich (editors), Optimization and Industry: New Frontiers, Kluwer Academic Publishers, 2003, pp. 113-140. 

JA Filar, P Manyem, MS Visser & K White, 'Tactical air traffic management: enhanced optimization model with cancellations and curfew penalties', in Conference on Optimization in Industry, Great Keppel Island, Queensland, Australia, July 2001. 

JA Filar, P Manyem & K White, 'How airlines and airports recover from schedule perturbations: a survey', Annals of Operations Research, vol. 108, 2001, pp. 315-333.

Areas of study and research

+ Click to minimise