Flight Delays and Algorithms

TITLE: Real Time Genetic Scheduling of Aircraft Landing Times

LINK: http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~pscerri/papers/icec98.pdf

REPUTABILITY STATEMENT: This article was published through the Carnegie Melon Computer Science Department, and both authors are professors at RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia.

COMMENTS: When sitting on the tarmac, two hours delayed, waiting for your flight to take off, you're mostly concerned with when you'll get to your destination, not how you'll get there. Thousands of flights run every day around the world. When thinking about the fact that Boston Logan has 6 runways to accomodate the hundreds of flights that land there daily, organized by numerous different airlines and affected by any number of delays, it can be daunting to imagine tackling such a task as organzing all of their safe landings. That's why local flight traffic controlers use algorithms to schedule plane landings at each individual airport. As a plane approaches, data such as the speed, distance, plane size, preferred runways, and estimated time on the runway are recieved and plugged into the algorithm. Planes are not simply allowed to land on a first come first serve basis but are rather given an optimal landing time based on this algorithm and the pilot and air traffic control only has a 3 minute wiggle room to change landing times if needed without causing serious ripple effects in other planes' landings. Rest assured that even if your flight is 2 hours late, you can land safely thanks to the help of air traffic control algorithms.