The Airport Capacity Forecast (ACF) project investigates the use of forecast information on airport capacity, which will allow airport stakeholders to optimize the use of their resources. The main research question in the project is:

Using a probabilistic capacity forecast, will stakeholders be able to respond better to changes in airport capacity (landside and airside)?

Airport stakeholders expect to realise significant efficiency improvements from increasing the predictability of airport operations. Currently, benefit is expected from the introduction of planning tools at airports, which will allow stakeholders a larger look-ahead time and better utilisation of resources. One major prerequisite to planning tools is the “planning space” they are working in: the capacity of the resources. Capacity, however, is a fluctuating measure, depending on many factors like weather, maintenance, and incidents. In the underlying project, we will produce an automated airport capacity forecast, for airside and landside operations.

The ACF project investigates the possibility to model a two-day airport capacity forecast. The project will bring the automation of airport operations to a higher level and enable further automated planning of the operations, where stakeholders will get a role to oversee the operations at a higher level than is currently the case.

The ACF project will be able to make well informed airport capacity predictions for a certain period ahead. The forward horizon will depend on the available information and the corresponding timing. Large-scale maintenance of runways may be planned to a year in advance, but strikes may occur quite suddenly. Meteo forecasts are accurate to about two days in advance. The accuracy of meteo forecasts usually decreases considerably with a longer time horizon.

The following key innovations of the proposed ACF project are identified:

  • The ACF project provides a major improvement in the predictability of airport operations enabling significant improvements in the efficiency of airport operations.
  • The ACF project enables airport stakeholders to act on forecasts of airport capacity instead of current airport capacity figures only.
  • The ACF project enables airport stakeholders to act on the results of objective probabilistic capacity models instead of expert judgements on airport capacity only.
  • The ACF project provides the airport stakeholders an automatic airport capacity forecast system that can be linked with their planning systems.
  • The ACF project provides the airport stakeholders a user-friendly internet HMI dashboard to the airport capacity forecast system instead of the traditional ways of communicating airport capacity.

The result of the proposed work will be a complete representation of airport capacity forecast. Relations between airport infrastructure elements and relations to disturbance factors will be modelled in a probabilistic manner. The increased role of automation and the human machine interface (the dashboard) will be implemented and verified through human-in-the-loop simulations/operations.