Modelling an efficient system for airport departures


How do airports manage the hustle and bustle of multiple flights departing? How can the flight delays experienced during boarding or before take-off be reduced?

To answer these questions, a team of researchers from the Department of Civil Engineering and Robert Bosch Centre for Cyber-Physical Systems (RBCCPS), Indian Institute of Science (IISc), and Air Traffic Management Airports Authority of India (AAI) have developed a smart scheduling system for airports that ensures a hassle-free, safe and efficient system around the departures of flights.

The researchers used Chennai International Airport as the experimental set up for their research and built a model that considered several parameters like taxiway availability, airspace structure around the airport, and potential conflicts along the flight path due to excessive delays. By including these details, the model ensures that flights take off in a timely manner, and safely, even amidst congestion. This approach also helps flights leave the gate and head straight for the runway without any interruptions ensuring that the airport is running smoothly.

The scientists explain that their approach is highly adaptable, meaning the model can be adjusted to fit the needs of any airport and can be easily added to the tools airports already use.

An overall glimpse of the complete departure process imagined through the research is shown in the figure. The departure process starts with flights leaving the departure gates and taxiing to the runway via designated taxiways. After take-off, flights follow fixed paths and waypoints (denoted as stars) in the airspace around the airport. The paths are again structured to guide the flight from the airspace paths into fixed air routes and towards the destination airport.

Chandra A, Choubey N, Verma A, Sooraj KP, Quasi-Stochastic Departure Metering Model Considering Non-Deterministic Taxi Time, Standard Instrument Departure Track Time, and a New Delay–Conflict Relationship, Transportation Research Record (2024).