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Integrated Models of Airlines for a Green Impact on the New Economy

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New models for greener and more economical flight trajectories

An EU-funded Clean Sky project has developed a set of economic models to optimise airline operations. The models are to be integrated in the Green Aircraft Trajectories under ATM Constraints (GATAC) framework to produce optimal flight trajectories that are both environmentally friendly and economically sound.

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The GATAC framework has been developed within the Systems for Green Operations (SGO) Integrated Technology Demonstrator (ITD) of the Clean Sky Joint Technology Initiative (JTI). The GATAC framework is used for multi-criterion trajectory and mission optimisation. Partners on the project IMAGINE (Integrated models of airlines for a green impact on the new economy) have contributed an operational and economics dimension to GATAC's multi-criteria optimisation of flight trajectories. Two major objectives guided project work. The first was to provide economic models for integration within the GATAC trajectory optimisation platform. The second was to design, develop and deliver models covering direct operating costs with regard to operational constraints, basic operations costs, environmental costs, crew costs, and fleet and schedule-related costs. Consortium members included two small and medium-sized enterprises with experience in aviation, environment, and the development of costs models and optimisation engines used in various airline models. Together, they developed a set of four models. These included basic models based on actual modelling of the business rules relevant to, among others, fuel, environmental taxes and navigation charges. Statistical models relate to direct operating costs (maintenance, possession), operations research models are based on rule engines and linear programming optimisation (crew, fleet etc.), and response surface models based on experiments. Developed as part of the Mission and Trajectory Management activity of the SGO ITD, IMAGINE's deliverables have implications for relevant design models that can be efficiently run in an optimisation loop. The work also helps to extend single trajectory optimisation in terms of crew and fleet-related costs that depend on aircraft rotations. Project outcomes are innovative in affording the ability to handle fleet-wide problems in a single optimisation run and account for interactions between flights (e.g. for crew pairings and schedule impacts). Models have been validated against real airline data for different aircraft – regional turboprop, single-aisle and wide-bodied.


Flight trajectories, Clean Sky, airline, GATAC, IMAGINE

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