National airspace model: Deterministic optimization of flight frequencies by carrier after airport losses

Brian Levine, Cornell University


A national airspace model can aid the government in making difficult decisions after the loss of infrastructure. This loss could be due to a terrorist attack or natural disaster and may affect part of an airport or the entire airport, effectively decreasing the capacity of the system. Whereas previous optimization models focused on the decisions a single carrier would have to make, this research extends the formulation to include multiple carriers, all sharing the same air system capacity. Each carrier is assumed to have its own unique aircraft fleet, routes, and hub airports. The goal of the model is to determine revised flight frequencies after a loss of infrastructure, with the objective of minimizing total operating cost. This is done by implementing a heuristic algorithm modeled after solution procedures from facility location problems, whereby links between airports are analogous to opening a facility. A small, 10-node test case illustrates the computational efficiency and potential contributions of such a model.

Abstract Author(s): Brian Levine, Linda Nozick