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An integer optimization approach to large-scale air traffic flow management

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>2011
<mark>Journal</mark>Operations Research
Issue number1
Number of pages17
Pages (from-to)211-227
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date1/02/11
<mark>Original language</mark>English


This paper presents a new integer programming (IP) model for large-scale instances of the air traffic flow management (ATFM) problem. The model covers all the phases of each flight-i.e., takeoff, en route cruising, and landing-and solves for an optimal combination of flow management actions, including ground-holding, rerouting, speed control, and airborne holding on a flight-by-flight basis. A distinguishing feature of the model is that it allows for rerouting decisions. This is achieved through the imposition of sets of "local" conditions that make it possible to represent rerouting options in a compact way by only introducing some new constraints. Moreover, three classes of valid inequalities are incorporated into the model to strengthen the polyhedral structure of the underlying relaxation. Computational times are short and reasonable for practical application on problem instances of size comparable to that of the entire U.S. air traffic management system. Thus, the proposed model has the potential of serving as the main engine for the preliminary identification, on a daily basis, of promising air traffic flow management interventions on a national scale in the United States or on a continental scale in Europe.