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How new scheduling is helping in minimizing flight delays
Air traffic congestion causes flight delays leading to wasting time and money of both customers and airlines. Flight schedules that follow a little careful design can prevent the frustrating flight delays. Scheduling models help to create schedules that are less susceptible to delays and easier to fix once disrupted. Reduction in delays eventually benefits the respective airlines. They should have a proactive approach to designing cascade-resistant schedules, instead of the reactive approach of trying to manage delays after they occur. As there is a massive amount of data generated from the airline, it is challenging to find the best model that quantifies the uncertainty to improve on-time performance and cost savings. The existing models are unable to differentiate the cascading downstream impact of one solution over another, which is the need for the decision-making in the airlines. The recent research addresses the concern by integrating inter-airline equity considerations into the decision-making around scheduling.
Different models have been developed to determine what kinds of solution offer the most flexibility in reducing delay cascades. One type of models focuses on avoidance of the outcomes of the worst-case delays only, and another one considers all kinds of delays.
Various models have been evaluated by observing the percentage of flight delays and passenger disruptions. The ability to control the less severe day-to-day types of delays benefits the passenger most.
Integrated capacity utilization and scheduling model with equity considerations build on an earlier model, which only optimizes scheduling through shifts in demand, but extends in a way that balances adjustments among the airlines. In the developing model, researchers compared airport capacity with the preferred schedule of flights requested by the airlines. The primary focus is on the adjustments that involve shifting demand through scheduling controls.
The key to enhancing the performance of complex and uncertain systems in the aviation lies in the combining mathematical models, real-world data, and detailed simulation tools for system evaluation.