The demand for airport flight arrival and departure slots is governed in part by airline business models. American Airways, for example, operates all its hubs on a banked model, timing its flights to arrive and depart at nearly the same time. This is to support convenient connections for transfer traffic. This results in a peaked pattern of demand for slots (ten banks per day) but perhaps greater time on the ground for its aircraft. On the other hand, Southwest Airlines, a Low Cost Carrier (LCC), schedules its flights at its Dallas Love Field hub to ensure rapid turnaround of its aircraft, resulting in a steady pattern of arrivals and departures throughout the day.
In this project, we develop a state-of-the-art optimization model that will support regulators and airport operators in the slot allocation process and address other related issues such as the setting of the declared capacities of the various elements of the airport. We conduct simulations to establish the margin of buffer capacity under several scenarios.