Research Article: Congestion Pricing for Aircraft Pushback Slot Allocation

Date Published: January 23, 2017

Publisher: Public Library of Science

Author(s): Lihua Liu, Yaping Zhang, Lan Liu, Zhiwei Xing, Xiaolei Ma.


In order to optimize aircraft pushback management during rush hour, aircraft pushback slot allocation based on congestion pricing is explored while considering monetary compensation based on the quality of the surface operations. First, the concept of the “external cost of surface congestion” is proposed, and a quantitative study on the external cost is performed. Then, an aircraft pushback slot allocation model for minimizing the total surface cost is established. An improved discrete differential evolution algorithm is also designed. Finally, a simulation is performed on Xinzheng International Airport using the proposed model. By comparing the pushback slot control strategy based on congestion pricing with other strategies, the advantages of the proposed model and algorithm are highlighted. In addition to reducing delays and optimizing the delay distribution, the model and algorithm are better suited for use for actual aircraft pushback management during rush hour. Further, it is also observed they do not result in significant increases in the surface cost. These results confirm the effectiveness and suitability of the proposed model and algorithm.

Partial Text

Congestion and delays are problems that occur routinely at domestic and international airports and not only reduce the operational efficiency but also result in huge losses to the airlines. The increase in air transportation demands at airports can no longer be satisfied simply by constructing more infrastructure, given the constraints of limited resources and funds. Hence, demand management has become an essential policy for the future.

In this study, the problem of optimizing the aircraft pushback time allocation process was studied, in order to determine the optimal strategy for reducing surface costs and delays and hence relieving congestion.




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