University of Nottingham > School of Computer Science > Automated Scheduling Planning and Optimisation > Air Transportation Research

Robust airline scheduling

(2003 - 2009)

Obtaining fundamental insights in the robustness of airline schedules, underpinning the development of future scheduling models

The ASAP research group has worked in close collaboration with Air France-KLM to investigate new approaches to build more robust schedules. The approach implements minor changes in existing schedules that are unlikely to influence profitability but which help to improve robustness and reduce passenger delays. A more robust schedule is one that is less sensitive to disruptions on the day of operation, offers increased flexibility to recover from disruptions, and prevents delay propagation through increased schedule stability. The approach developed at ASAP facilitates the investigation of mutual interaction between multiple robustness influencing characteristics of a schedule and the quantification of their simultaneous influence on the schedule's operational performance. This research has contributed to fundamental new insights in the robustness of airline schedules, and a better understanding thereof. This underpins the development of future models for robust airline scheduling. The fundamental contribution of this research project was internationally recognised: it was awarded the best technical innovation at the Airline Operations Meeting of the Airline Group of the International Federation of Operational Research Societies, Denver, Colorado, 2007 (see Informs Aviation Applications Section Newsletter) and it received second place in the Anna Valicek Competition for innovative research in Airline Research (see Anna Valicek Medal).