Control of holding patterns for increased throughput and recovery of operations

Adan E. Vela, Eric Feron, William Singhose, John Paul Clarke

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


In this paper we consider the problem of rapid recovery of airport operations following temporary runway and arrival closures. Runway and arrival route closures force aircraft to be diverted or placed in holding patterns. This significantly increases costs for air carriers and disrupts normal operations of airports and passengers. For short-term closures, placing aircraft in holding patterns near the airport is generally preferred over flight diversions. However, once the runway or arrival is opened, to prevent additional growing delays the holding aircraft must land as quickly as possible. The work presented here establishes a decentralized control policy to minimize the time required to land a set of circling aircraft. Through construction of the control policy, provable performance improvements for minimizing individual aircraft delays and the overall recovery time of the airport are achieved. © 2010 IEEE.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAIAA/IEEE Digital Avionics Systems Conference - Proceedings
StatePublished - Dec 1 2010
Externally publishedYes


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