Optimal scheduling of airport runway operations can play an important role in improving the safety and efficiency of the National Airspace System (NAS). Methods that compute the optimal landing sequence and landing times of aircraft must accommodate practical issues that affect the implementation of the schedule. One such practical consideration, known as Constrained Position Shifting (CPS), is the restriction that each aircraft must land within a pre-specified number of positions of its place in the First-Come-First-Served (FCFS) sequence. We consider the problem of scheduling landings of aircraft in a CPS environment in order to maximize runway throughput (minimize the completion time of the landing sequence), subject to operational constraints such as FAA-specified minimum inter-arrival spacing restrictions, precedence relationships among aircraft that arise either from airline preferences or air traffic control procedures that prevent overtaking, and time windows (representing possible control actions) during which each aircraft landing can occur. We present a Dynamic Programming-based approach that scales linearly in the number of aircraft, and describe our computational experience with a prototype implementation on realistic data for Denver International Airport.
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