An Integrated Simulation and Dynamic Programming Approach for Determining Optimal Runway Exit Locations (1992)

The Federal Aviation Administration and National Aeronautics and Space Administration are researching several problems targeted at improving airport capacity. Among the foremost of these problems is the issue of improving the operational use of runways. The efficiency of runway usage is dictated primarily by the runway occupancy time (ROT) which is the time that an aircraft spends on the runway or its vicinity, until a new arrival or departure can be processed on this runway. This paper considers the problem of determining the geometry and location of high speed exits on a runway to minimize the weighted ROT of a population of aircraft under various landing scenarios and frequencies of usage. Both the problem of designing a new runway and modifying an existing one are addressed. It is shown that the continuous location problem of siting runway turnoffs admits a natural finite set of candidate optimal locations. To characterize problem data and determine optimal exit locations, a simulation program integrated with a polynomial-time dynamic programming algorithm is developed. The methodology has been implemented on a personal computer, and an example is presented to illustrate the approach.
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