Airline operations are made up of many interdependent components. Both aircraft and crews are limited and costly resources. Aircraft are subject to strict maintenance rules; crews must follow complex Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and union restrictions. Coupled together, they form a complex network over which passengers flow. Each planning decision, such as, the departure time of a flight, the type of aircraft flown, the pairing of flights for direct flights, can have a dramatic impact on other aspects of the system. Decisions are usually made with the expectation that they will cover an extended period where each day has the same schedule and fleeting. In reality, this is rarely the case. In addition to planned deviations (for example, addition flights in business markets on busier days of the week), there are a vast array of unplanned daily deviations. These range from a crowded flight needing a few extra unplanned minutes to load and unload passengers, to weather-induced ground holds which may significantly delay departures of a large number of flights, to an aircraft being grounded for unplanned maintenance, to a crew member not being available for his or her planned flight. The author looks at how robustness may be measured and incorporated in the airline planning phase. Her focus is on the fleet assignment problem, with some limited schedule adjustment. She focuses on three different areas including the identification of metrics to measure how operations deviate from the plan and how this impacts the rest of the system; the development of tools for comparing different plans given the same scenario of operational conditions; and the existence of alternate approaches to the fleet assignment problem that encourage robustness.

  • Record URL:
  • Supplemental Notes:
    • This research was supported by a grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation, University Transportation Centers Program.
  • Corporate Authors:

    University of Massachusetts, Amherst

    Transportation Center, 130 Natural Resources Road
    Amherst, MA  United States  01003
  • Authors:
    • Barnhart, C
  • Publication Date: 2000-5-10


  • English

Media Info

  • Features: Figures;
  • Pagination: 33 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00795481
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: Final Report
  • Files: UTC, NTL, TRIS
  • Created Date: Jul 11 2000 12:00AM