Strategic Air Traffic Planning with Fréchet Distance Aggregation and Rerouting

Alessandro Bombelli, Lluis Soler, Eric Trumbauer, Kenneth Mease

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


An aggregate route model for strategic air traffic flow management is presented. It is an Eulerian model, describing the flow between segments of unidirectional point-to-point routes. Aggregate routes are created from flight trajectory data based on similarity measures. Spatial similarity is determined using the Fréchet distance and temporal similarity by comparing average ground speeds. The aggregate routes approximate actual traffic patterns. By specifying the model resolution, an appropriate balance between model accuracy and model dimension can be achieved. The dynamics of the traffic flow on the network of aggregate routes take the form of a discrete-time linear time-invariant system. The traffic flow controls are ground holding and predeparture rerouting. Strategic planning, to use the controls to modify the future traffic flow when local capacity violations are anticipated, is posed as an integer linear programming problem of minimizing a weighted sum of flight delays subject to capacity constraints. Two examples demonstrate the model formulation and results of strategic planning. First, ground delays are introduced to manage high demand in the Los Angeles center; second, ground holding and predeparture rerouting are used to manage a convective weather scenario in the same center.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1117-1129
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Guidance, Control, and Dynamics
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 31 Jan 2017
Externally publishedYes

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