Low-Carbon Optimisation of Aircraft Ground Movement

This activity was initiated by an EPSRC research grant resulting from a joint bid between myself while I was at Lincoln University, Prof Edmund Burke, who was at the University of Nottingham at the time and is now DVC at Leicester University, and Dr. Mahroo Eftekari of the University of Loughborough. The programme has been conducted in association with Manchester and Zurich airports.

The programme is developing methods for low-carbon scheduling of:

  • Runway sequencing
  • Ground movement
  • Fuel efficient taxiing

The new methods have a significant impact on the real world:

  • Optimal runway sequences
  • Significantly reducing runway delays and CTOT violations
  • 23.6% reduction in taxi time

Integrating and Automating Airport Operations EPSRC Grant: EP/H004424/2 2011  – 2014

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The project emerged from the Research Councils’ Energy Programme Sandpit in Airport Operations held at Shrigley Hall, Cheshire. It represents a wide ranging multi-disciplinary and cross-institutional initiative to exploit recent research advances in automated search methodologies and decision support techniques for air operations (and other related areas). The project will open up a range of exciting and ambitious research directions in the crucially important area of airport operations. The programme of research builds integrated computational models of four key airport operations:

  • Take-off scheduling
  • Landing Scheduling
  • Gate Assignment
  • Baggage flow.

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The project explores how to build computational models that represent the integration of these problems and it will explore how to develop effective multi-objective search methodologies which will employ the models. At the moment, these operations are addressed in an isolated (and often manual) way. The ultimate goal is to develop innovative search methodologies which are able to operate from a global perspective in order to provide airport operators with a much higher level of computer aided decision support than is available today. Integrating these four operations and exploring new and exciting ways of generating high quality solutions to the integrated problem is the broad basic aim of the project. We work closely with colleagues at Manchester and Zurich airports to ensure that we have continuous access to real world expertise and data. The proposal brings together a balanced inter-disciplinary team of scientists and engineers to investigate a series of novel research challenges with the overall goal of underpinning the development of tomorrow’s airport operations decision support systems.


Associated Publications

Michal Weiszer, Jun Chen, Paul Stewart, ‘Preference-based evolutionary algorithm for airport surface operations’, Transportation Research Part C: Emerging Technologies, Volume 91, June 2018, Pages 296–316, doi: 10.1016/j.trc.2018.04.008

Jun Chen, Michal Weiszer, Giorgio Locatelli, Stefan Ravizza, Jason A. Atkin, Paul Stewart and Edmund Burke, (2016) ‘Towards a More Realistic, Cost Effective and Greener Ground Movement through Active Routing: Part 2-A Multi-Objective Shortest Path Approach’ IEEE Intelligent Transportation Systems, December 2016, 17(12):3524-3540) Digital Object Identifier 10.1109/TITS.2016.2587619

Michal Weiszer, Jun Chen, Paul Stewart (2015), A real-time Active Routing approach via a database for airport surface movement.Transportation Research Part C: Emerging Technologies, Volume 58, Part A, September 2015, Pages 127–145 DOI: 10.1016/j.trc.2015.07.011

Z. Cen, T. Smith, P. Stewart and J. Stewart (2015), ‘Integrated Flight/Thrust Vectoring for Jet-Powered Unmanned Aerial Vehicles with ACHEON Propulsion’Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part G: Journal of Aerospace Engineering vol.229, pp1057-1075, May 2015 first published online  July 29, 2014 DOI: 10.1177/0954410014544179

Jun ChenMichal Weiszer, Paul Stewart and Masihalah Shabani, (2015)‘Towards a More Realistic, Cost Effective and Greener Ground Movement through Active Routing: Part 1-Optimal Speed Profile Generation’IEEE Transactions on Intelligent Transportation Systems, Issue 99, pp 1-14, ISSN: 1524-9050, DOI: 10.1109/TITS.2015.2477350, November 2015-11-18

Ravizza, Stefan and Chen, Jun and Atkin, Jason A. D. and Stewart, Paul and Burke, Edmund K. (2014) Aircraft taxi time prediction: comparisons and insights. Applied Soft Computing, 14 (c). pp. 397-406. ISSN 1568-4946

Ravizza S., Chen J., Atkin J., Burke E. and Stewart P., “The trade-off between taxi time and fuel consumption in airport ground movement”, Springer-Verlag Journal of Public Transport Planning and Operations, ISSN: 1866-749X (print version), ISSN: 1613-7159 (electronic version), DOI 10.1007/s12469-013-0060-1, Volume 5, Issue 1 (2013), Page 25-40

Chen J and Stewart P. “Planning Aircraft Taxiing Trajectories via a Multi-Objective Immune Optimisation” The 7th International Conference on Natural Computation and 8th International Conference on Fuzzy Systems and Knowledge Discovery, 26-28 July 2011, Galaxy Hotel, Shanghai, China.

Jun Chen, Stefan Ravizza, Jason A. D. Atkin, and Paul Stewart, “On the Utilisation of Fuzzy Rule-Based Systems for Taxi Time Estimations at Airports”, ATMOS 2011 – 11th Workshop on Algorithmic Approaches for Transportation Modelling, Optimization and Systems, Sept 8th, 2011, Saabrucken, Germany.

Ryley T., Stewart P, Tassou S., Bennett M., Chen J., Waugh D, Chan P. and Liang V., ‘Aviation Operations and Climate Change Impacts: the Airport Energy Technologies Network Response’ Transportation Research Board 91st Annual Meeting, Jan 22-26, 2012, Washington D.C.

Stefan Ravizza, Jun Chen, Jason A. D. Atkin, Edmund K. Burke, Paul Stewart, ‘The trade-off between taxi time and fuel consumption in airport ground movement’, Conference on Advanced Systems for Public Transport (CASPT12), Santiago, Chile, 23-27 July, 2012.

Michal Weiszer, Jun Chen, Stefan Ravizza, Jason Atkin, Paul Stewart, “A heuristic approach to greener airport ground movement”, 2014 IEEE Congress on Evolutionary Computation (CEC14), pp. 3280-3286, 06 – 11 Jul 2014, Beijing, China

Michal Weiszer, Jun Chen, Stefan Ravizza, Jason Atkin, Paul Stewart, “Towards airport green ground movement using multi-objective, multi-component optimisation and heuristic”, 2014 IEEE World Congress on Computational Intelligence WCCI2014, Beijing, China, July 6-11, 2014

M. Trancossi, A. Dumas, P. Stewart and D. Vucinic (2014), ‘Increasing aeronautic electric propulsion performances by cogeneration and heat recovery’, SAE 2014 Aerospace Systems and Technology Conference, September 23-25, 2014, Cincinnati, Ohio, USA

M. Trancossi, C. Bingham, P.Stewart and Dean Vucinic, ‘Multifunctional Unmanned Reconnaissance Aircraft for Low-speed and STOL operation’, SAE 2015 AeroTech Congress & Exhibition, Washington State Convention Centre, Seattle, Washington, USA, Sept 22-24, 2015

Jun Chen, Michal Weiszer, Paul Stewart, ‘Optimal Speed Profile Generation for Airport Ground Movement with Consideration of Emissions’, IEEE 18th International Conference on Intelligent Transportation Systems, Canary Islands, Spain, 15-18 September, 2015

Jun Chen, Michal Weiszer, Paul Stewart, ‘Preference-based evolutionary algorithm for airport runway scheduling and ground movement optimisation’, IEEE 18th International Conference on Intelligent Transportation Systems, Canary Islands, Spain, 15-18 September, 2015