The present paper focuses on the development of an algorithm for safely and optimally managing the routing of aircraft on an airport surface in future airport operations. This tool is intended to support air traffic controllersâ€™ decision-making in selecting the paths of all aircraft and the engine startup approval time for departing ones. Optimal routes are sought for minimizing the time both arriving and departing aircraft spend on an airport surface with engines on, with benefits in terms of safety, efficiency and costs. The proposed algorithm first computes a standalone, shortest path solution from runway to apron or vice versa, depending on the aircraft being inbound or outbound, respectively. For taking into account the constraints due to other traffic on an airport surface, this solution is amended by a conflict detection and resolution task that attempts to reduce and possibly nullify the number of conflicts generated in the first phase. An example application on a simple Italian airport exemplifies how the algorithm can be applied to true-world applications. Emphasis is given on how to model an airport surface as a weighted and directed graph with non-negative weights, as required for the input to the algorithm.
Document type: Article
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