Incentive-based Slot Allocation for Airports

The demand regulation for airport infrastructures is managed, depending on the location within the world, typically by slot allocation schemes. Slot allocation for the biggest part of the relevant airports is organized in accordance with the International Air Transport Association Worldwide Slot Guidelines, IATA-WSG. In Europe, Regulation 95/93 including its amendments as local rule with relation to IATA-WSG builds the basis for airport slot allocation. Key element of the slot allocation according to this principle is the fragmentation of the declared capacity into time niches, better known as airport slots. A weak spot with this is the usage of the capacity estimation which has to cover a full scheduling season. Those having been allocated a slot are allowed to make use of the airport infrastructure in general. Demanding airlines without a slot for this airport may request spontaneously a free slot, if available. If not applicable, additional demand's requests are waived. This system limits the serviced demand and assures thereby a reliable level of service at service process stations, e.g. the runway, apron, or terminal. From a strategic point of view this capped demand may cause economic losses due to waived additional airport charges also in situations with capacity well above the average expected value, which was used to calculate the official declared capacity. A second problem with resource usage efficiency arises instead of conservative calculations regarding the available capacity by the variance in resource usage by slot holding airlines. Delayed use of infrastructure may cause excessive demand in later time frames, instead of the slot allocation and its leveling effect. Knock-on delays affect the following turnarounds and may destabilize network-wide connections. Especially for the resilience of door-to-door managed networks, process stability is a key ingredient for success. Arrival and departure deviations in aviation may preclude sustainable co-modality by its variability. Both primary as well as secondary delays may jeopardize connections between different or same modes of transportation, and the affected passenger may be stranded at least at the mode's transfer point. By introducing an incentive to avoid primary delays and by foreclosing the propagation of secondary delays within networks, an increase in level of service like process stability or punctuality is realizable. The research topic was to evaluate possibilities to increase resource usage efficiency by changing the methods of slot allocation. Therefore, a priority-based system was created and verified by a simplified microscopic simulation model. Priorities were allocated in advance, representing different categories of resource availability estimation. A second extension to the system was given by a performance-based component. The preselected priority was allocated to the demanding aircraft with up-/downgrades depending on its own punctuality. Despite the increased data exchange volume needed to realize this resource allocation scheme in reality, benefits in resource efficiency and turnaround stability are clearly observable. Different priorities in scheduling are an incentive to schedule with different levels of availability of infrastructures already during strategic planning, whereas the vehicle-oriented performance-based prioritization in operations is suitable to avoid any secondary delay propagation and to increase the system's fairness.


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  • Accession Number: 01612630
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jun 29 2016 8:36AM