In this paper we address a stochastic air traffic flow management problem. Our problem arises when airspace congestion is predicted, usually because of a weather disturbance, so that the number of flights passing through a volume of airspace (flow constrained area – FCA) must be reduced. We formulate an optimization model for the assignment of dispositions to flights whose preferred flight plans pass through an FCA. For each flight, the disposition can be either to depart as scheduled but via a secondary route, or to use the originally intended route but to depart with a controlled (adjusted) departure time and accompanying ground delay. We model the possibility that the capacity of the FCA may increase at some future time once the weather activity clears. The model is a two-stage stochastic program that represents the time of this capacity windfall as a random variable, and determines expected costs given a second-stage decision, conditioning on that time. This paper extends our earlier work on this problem by allowing the initial reroutes to vary from pessimistic (initial trajectory avoids weather entirely) to optimistic (initial trajectory assumes weather not present). We conduct experiments allowing a range of such trajectories and draw conclusions regarding appropriate strategies.
Theme: Network and Strategic Traffic Flow Optimization
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