An improved method for scheduling aircraft ground handling operations from a global perspective

Silvia Padrón, Daniel Guimarans

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


The turnaround is a critical airport process where a set of interrelated operations need to be performed to get an aircraft ready for its next flight. These activities are carried out by different vehicles, which need to be coordinated to guarantee an efficient utilization of resources. Due to the relations between operations, the order in which these resources are scheduled has a critical influence on the planning and performance of the turnaround. In this work, we present a novel methodology for solving the proposed bi-objective ground handling scheduling problem from a global perspective. This means solving a set of interconnected routing problems with restrictive time windows for each operation. We first explore the solution space using a fast heuristic, focusing then on the most promising solutions to intensify the search in the vicinity of the Pareto frontier. This two-step schema permits significantly reducing the required computational time, which, in turn, allows a more thorough exploration of solutions. Different experiments over real data from two Spanish airports have been conducted to assess the proposed methodology. Our results show that the new method not only outperforms previous approaches in terms of computational requirements, but can also improve the quality of scheduling solutions.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1950020
Number of pages25
JournalAsia-Pacific Journal of Operational Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Air transportation
  • multi-objective optimization problem
  • Pareto solutions
  • Vehicle Routing Problem with Time Windows

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