International audience; Air traffic management (ATM) is an endless source of challenging optimization problems. Before discussing applications of metaheuristics to these problems, let us describe an ATM system in a few words, so that readers who are not familiar with such systems can understand the problems being addressed in this chapter. Between the moment passengers board an aircraft and the moment they arrive at their destination, a flight goes through several phases: push back at the gate, taxiing between the gate and the runway threshold, takeoff and initial climb following a Standard instrument departure (SID) procedure, cruise, final descent following standard terminal arrival route (STAR), landing on the runway, and taxiing to the gate. During each phase, the flight is handled by several air traffic control organizations: airport ground control, approach and terminal control, en-route control. These control organizations provide services that ensure safe and efficient conduct of flights, from departure to arrival.
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