Update ATOS 2010 Symposium

The ATOS 2010 Chair is proud to present the finalized programme for 2010: 37 papers, 5 Industry sessions and 7 key note speeches will be presented.
Please have a look at this site for more information.


The ATOS 2010 team kindly invites you for the first Air Transport & Operations and the AEROSPACE Education 2020 Symposium. ATOS 2010 will take place on Wednesday 14 April 2010 and Thursday 15 April 2010 each day from 9:00-17:30 hrs at the Faculty of Aerospace Engineering, Delft University of Technology in Delft, The Netherlands. The AEROSPACE Education 2020 Symposium will take place on Friday 16 April 2010 from 10:00-17:30 hrs at the Hogeschool van Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Air Transport & Operations Symposium 2010
Air Transport: "Adding value in the 21st Century"
The hot topic of ATOS 2010 is how air transport can evolve to continue to add value in the 21st Century? Some of the key aerospace value challenges are typified by the SESAR goals for 2020 in being able to handle a threefold increase in capacity, improving safety by a factor of 10, reducing environmental impact by 10% and reducing expenses by a half. However, this is all in the context of our current financial crises and the need for industry stakeholders to remain solvent and competitive. ATOS 2010 will consider these issues as we go into the 2nd century of aviation! Consequently, the international aerospace community, both scientific and industrial are invited to this value adding symposium.

Keynotes include:
– John-Paul Clarke, Associate Professor in the School of Aerospace Engineering and the Director of the Air Transportation Laboratory (ATL) at the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech)
– John Hsu, Senior Manager of the Systems Engineering Department of the Boeing Company
– Peter de Swert, Executive Vice President Operations of KLM Engineering & Maintenance

Exhibition floor
Additionally to workshops an exhibition floor with aerospace companies (KLM, STORK, etc.) will also be a part of the symposium. The exhbition floor is free to visit.

AEROSPACE Education 2020 
The AEROSPACE Education 2020 symposium aims to implement technological aerospace innovations within education in a faster sense, in such a way that education can support the continuous developments in technology, logistics, operations and facilities. This initiative is a joint effort of four Dutch aerospace educational organizations.
Hogeschool INHolland Delft, Hogeschool van Amsterdam, Delft University of Technology and the ROC of Amsterdam are of the opinion that students should be better prepared in their future field of activity. A clear vision on the aerospace industry is lacking in the Netherlands and Europe, making an effective adaptability of education on the developments within the different segments difficult. This cooperation is a signal to the industry in taking a joint responsibility when it comes to educating students to future professionals. Kick-off of this cooperation is the AEROSPACE Education 2020 symposium  which will take place at the 16th of April 2010 at the Hogeschool van Amsterdam.

Speakers include: Michel Peters, general director of the Dutch National Aerospace Laboratory and Prof. dr. Alberto Bazzan, head of New Business Development of IATA will present their vision. They will discuss the themes “Innovation and Aerospace education” and “The importance of well educated personnel within a changing airline environment”.

For the full draft program and registration, please visit the symposium website at www.lr.tudelft.nl/atos. Note that the AEROSPACE Education 2020 symposium is free of charge

ATOS 2010: key-note announcement

The Local Committee of the ATOS 2010 conference to be held at the Technical University Delft (TU Delft) presents with proud the following key-note speakers for the ATOS 2010 symposium.

– John-Paul Clarke, Associate Professor in the School of Aerospace Engineering and the Director of the Air Transportation Laboratory (ATL) at the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech);

– John Hsu, Senior Manager of the Systems Engineering Department of the Boeing Company

– Peter de Swert, Executive Vice President Operations of KLM Engineering & Maintenance

Please consult www.lr.tudelft.nl/atos for more information.

Meet out new editor Dr. Michel van Wijk

michel van wijkWe are happy to announce that Michel van Wijk has joined the Aerlines Team. He has become a member of our editorial staff.

Michel van Wijk was born on May 7, 1977 in Huizen, the Netherlands. From 1995 to 2001 he studied and graduated as M.A. in Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Amsterdam. This includes an E.U. INTERREG internship at Kolpron Consultants in Rotterdam. Furthermore, he was an exchange student at the Technical University of Berlin in 1999. Extracurricular activities included organising international student trips, conferences and excursions. From 1999 to 2001 Michel van Wijk was enrolled in the master’s program of International Affairs in the University of Amsterdam, which helped to develop his interest in academic research. This led to an appointment as Ph.D. student in Urban and Regional Planning at Utrecht University (2001-2006). The first years of research were spent at Ecorys Nederland in Rotterdam, and for three months at the J.W. Goethe University in Frankfurt am Main (2003). From 2004 to 2006 he was a research student at Hitotsubashi University in Tokyo, including a five-months Japanese language course. After defending his PhD thesis in January 2007, Michel works as a project manager at Schiphol Area Development Company. He joined the editorial team of Aerlines mid 2009.

You can read his full PhD thesis below:

All For One – Factors for Alignment of Inter-Dependent Business Processes at KLM and Schiphol

By Rolf P. Perié

KLM_SchipholAs airline and hub competition becomes fiercer, airline-airport co-operation becomes a necessary option for both main carrier airlines and hub airports to face this competition together. The inter-dependency between airlines and airports in producing air-transport services is tight, i.e. their destinies are inter-twined. Their existence as viable economic entities depends upon market performance of each other. This leads to the assumption that the relation of airlines – airports serves as an example case for dyadic alignment.

Although research has been carried out regarding many forms of co-operation, little is known about specifically alignment at the business process level. By alignment of their interdependent dyadic business processes competitive advantage can be obtained; both KLM and AAS have acknowledged this.

The aim of this research is to determine Factors for Alignment for specific inter-dependent business processes at KLM and AAS. For research purposes the research question is formulated as follows:

Which are the factors for alignment of dyadic business processes at KLM and AAS?

Answers to this research question are to increase the understanding of the effect of different factors upon alignment. This research has a theoretical as well as a practical value. It develops a theoretical Delft Factors for Alignment (DFA) model. This enables subsequent development of analysis tools that quantitatively and qualitatively measure the performance of Factors for Alignment. For practical purposes, it identifies issues and maps differences and similarities present between KLM and AAS within their specific dyadic business processes. These dyadic processes are Environmental Capacity, Network Planning, Infrastructure Planning and Aircraft Stand Allocation.

This research is based upon the assumption that alignment of the dyadic business processes of KLM and AAS is achieved by addressing the issues affecting alignment regarding various subjects within each business process, as indicated by employees of these firms. By making use of interviews and questionnaires within both firms it is found that the issues present within four dyadic business processes of these firms, at three different levels of decision making, can be modeled by the developed DFA model. The model identifies the most potential of Factors for Alignment of their dyadic business processes. It is proven that the DFA model is a diagnostic tool in finding the Factors for Alignment of dyadic business processes of KLM and AAS by creating a structured ordering of the issues by interviews and questionnaires.

The research question, as formulated above, is answered by primary and secondary Factors for Alignment per business process. This also implies that the DFA model is effective for analysis of dyadic business processes.

The research methodology has proven to be viable. This would encourage application for research of other dyadic business processes at KLM and AAS, which could also strengthen their competitive advantage.

Runway Operations Scheduling using Airline Preferences

By Jan Maarten Soomer

jan maarten soomerThe purpose of the research discussed in this thesis was to assess the effects of considering airline preferences in runway operations scheduling. This was motivated by the congestion and delays that regularly occur in the air traffic system. Delays cause both cost and inconvenience to airlines and their passengers. Airborne delays increase fuel cost. Delays can cause infeasibility to crew and aircraft assignments for subsequent flights. In this way, delays are propagated. This results in additional cost, such as crew overtime payments. Delays can cause passengers to miss connecting flights and these passengers have to be rebooked. This also brings additional cost. However, the impact of a delay will differ from flight to flight, depending, among others, on the number of (transfer) passengers. An airline will often prefer a delay for a flight without any transfer passengers over a delay for a flight full of time-critical transfer passengers. It is expected that by considering these preferences in air traffic control decisions, the impact of delay on the airlines and their passengers can be reduced. This will lead to cost savings for airlines and fewer frustrations for passengers.

runwayRunway operations scheduling involves assigning a landing or take-off time and runway to each flight in such a way that the required separation between flights is respected. The separation required between two flights at the runway depends on the weight categories and sequence of the aircraft. A light aircraft landing behind a heavy aircraft requires more separation than the reverse order. This means that the capacity can be enlarged by actively sequencing the flights. This is import because runways form a major bottleneck of the air traffic system. However, currently flights are not actively sequenced in practice. This means there is an opportunity to improve the efficiency at this bottleneck and with that the efficiency of the total air traffic system. In this research, possible increases in runway throughput obtained by sequencing the flights are considered. However, the primary objective is to incorporate airline preferences in the runway operation schedule in order to reduce the impact of delays on airline and their passengers. The consideration of both airline preferences and efficiency fills the gap between the two approaches currently considered in the literature to allocate runway capacity to flights.

A novel approach to represent airline preferences and incorporate these in a fair manner in the scheduling process was presented. In this approach, airline preferences are represented using cost functions. These cost functions represents the cost related to runway operations times of flights and connection times between flights. We want to allow the airlines as much flexibility as possible in representing these cost functions. At the same time, these cost functions must be applicable to establish a fair and efficient runway
schedule. Therefore, it must be possible to compare the cost functions from competing airlines in a fair manner. Additionally, it should not be possible for airlines to conduct strategic behavior. To achieve this, a combination of centralized decision making and restrictions on the cost functions were proposed. Additional measures of fairness were also defined and evaluated throughout the research. Two runway operations scheduling problems were studied. First, the single runway aircraft landing problem was considered. Next, the scheduling of arrivals and departures at a hub airport was considered. For both problems, mathematical programming formulations are given and local search heuristics to obtain good solutions using short computation times were introduced.
These heuristics has shown to give solutions of good quality for realistically sized instances.

The scheduling of landing flights at a single runway (aircraft landing problem) was tested in computational experiments. For this a large number of problem instances, created using schedule data from a major European hub, were used. The results show tremendous cost savings for the airlines compared to a schedule that resembles current practice, especially at times when runway congestion is expected. The results also show that schedules with different distributions of cost over the airlines can be obtained, by considering different objectives. There is a trade-off between minimum total cost (over all airlines) and a more equal distribution of cost (savings) and delays over the airlines. However, it was shown that schedules with a more equal cost distribution over the airlines
but at the same time considerable total cost savings compared to current practice, can be obtained.

The scheduling of landings and take-offs at multiple runways provided the possibility to explicitly consider hub airline operations. In this way, the costs related to flight connections can be modeled more realistically. Computational experiments for this problem were also performed using data from a large European hub. The results showed that additional cost savings can be obtained by integrally scheduling the runway operations of arrivals and (connected) departures. In this way, for example, the number of missed transfers can be (further) reduced.

We can conclude that the results of our research show that considering airline preferences in runway operations scheduling indeed leads to a reduction of the negative impact of delays to airlines and their passengers. Considerable cost reductions can be obtained for the airlines. Furthermore, passenger frustrations related to delays and missed transfers can be reduced. Now that the potential gains are established, further research is necessary to allow for the practical application of the approach. In an operational
environment runway operation schedules must be calculated almost instantaneously. Fast (real-time) algorithms must be developed to achieve this. Another interesting subject for future research is whether a similar approach can be used for related air traffic problems, such as air traffic flow control or airport gate assignment.

African air transport in the 21st century: A case study of the contrasting experience of Nigeria and Kenya

By Oladele Samson Fatokun, Cranfield University School of Engineering

The African air transport industry progresses at different speeds in the highly heterogeneous Sub-Sahara African region. While on one hand countries such as South Africa, Mauritius, Kenya and Ethiopia have been relatively successful in their air transport experience, on the other hand many countries such as Nigeria have been less successful in the establishment of a strong and viable air transport industry.

This research benchmarked the Nigerian experience with that of Kenya in order to evaluate the Nigerian air transport industry and at the same time identify in the Kenyan experience best practices and success factors that could make Nigeria a relatively successful nation in air transportation of passenger and cargo. Various policies and results in the areas of air transport administration, air cargo transportation, air transportation of passengers, airport management and airline strategic management were benchmarked.

This thesis found that Kenya was more successful than Nigeria in the area of international passenger generation, air cargo transportation and air transport administration. Success factors and best practices in the Kenya experience responsible for the performance gap in the air transport experience of the two countries were also identified.

The research analysed in details the applicability of those factors to the Nigerian environment and it found that their applicability will encounter some constraints. The thesis gives an insight into the adjustments that can be made by Nigeria air transport stakeholders for the country to apply the identified success factors and best practices and become a relatively successful air transport nation.

Air Cargo Density Research

By Van de Reyd & Wouters

An ongoing discussion exists in the air cargo industry on the densities of the commodities. It is heard throughout this industry that the voluminous cargo is getting more and more important. However, all pricing is done strictly on weight1. For voluminous cargo, this volume is then converted by a standard factor of 166.67 kg/m3 (1 metric ton divided by 6 cubic meter – the “1/6 rule”) to the so-called chargeable weight, and if this chargeable weight is larger than the actual weight, all pricing is done using this chargeable weight. It is the goal of this project to determine if the actual densities more or less correlate with the currently used conversion factor. However, to give a full analysis, historical data would be necessary. Since this data mostly unavailable during the course of this study, the results only provide a current status of the densities.

The results both for commodity analysis indicate the current real-life standard density of the year 2004 densities is extremely category dependant. The major commodity categories range from a density of 135 kg/m3 for live animals to 495 kg/m3 for metal products, with a wide variation of categories in between these two extremes. However, the most categories, eighteen out of twenty-five to be precise, are situated in the broad 150-250 kg/m3 region. From the above it should be clear that a large variation exists between commodity categories and extrapolating a general rule, such as a 1/5 or 1/6 density rule (1 ton equals 5 or 6 m3) is almost impossible. However, if the conclusion would be based on the statistical parameters of the entire database, a reasonable estimate would be 185 – 200 kg/m3, based solely on the commodity analysis.

The second part of this report, dedicated to ULD and aircraft analysis gives another perspective on densities. The analysis whole pallets and containers, each consisting of many different shipments (mostly different commodities on one pallet), indicate the differences between the most frequently occurring ULD’s (PAG, AKE and PMC) are negligible with densities clearly in the 190-200 kg/m3 region. There seems to be one exception, namely the difference between lower deck loaded ULD’s and main deck ULD’s: main deck ULD’s have a much lower density in the order of 160 kg/m3, insinuating the less importance to stack shipments as dense as on the lower deck. The aircraft subpart could only be done of a limited number of full freighter aircraft. From the results, full freighters are mostly volume restricted. The volume usage amounts to 85%, while only 70% of the maximum weight capacity is used.

There are a couple important recommendations, namely the use of historic data and the fact that periodic follow up research projects could provide a true trend analysis. Also from the results, it could be viable to use different density rules for different density classes of commodities. Also a sample test for the pallet build-up efficiency compared with the water volumes of the pallets could provide more insight into the true densities of pallets. Finally a prediction factor on cargo level to determine which aircraft fits best on each route could also be very interesting.

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