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Airline Route/ Aircraft Planning

Wed May 18, 2011 1:49 am

The subject speaks for itself I think. Aircraft routing always amazed me. Especially high frequency a/c that make up the back-bone of some US airlines. The Mad Dog for Delta comes to mind as does the CRJ for regional partners. Now, for the most part, most "regionals" dominate their own airport. Mesaba at MSP, Pinnacle at DTW, SkyWest in SLC, Comair in CVG, and finally the top dog, Atlantic Southeast in ATL.

Now, for the most part, the a/c seem to do a lot of out and backs (ATL-FAY-ATL-VPS-ATL,etc.) However, there are outstations that see 2 or even 3 regional partners and the a/c that came in from ATL may continue onto say MSP. How is this all done? I tracked an ASA CR7 last week. It had started its day in White Planes and a day and a half later it was out west doing runs through SLC and MSP and finally made its way back to Atlanta. Same thing with Pinnacle CR9s. They have a base in ATL but they end up out in the midwest through cities like ICT and OMA, routing through MSP, somehow getting back to DTW through maybe ORF or YYZ then making it's way back to Atlanta.

Very complex I bet and I know scheduled 3 day MTC is built in as well. I've seen CR7s come into ATL mid day and sit on a gate for 5 hours before going back out for regular MTC checks. Then, you'll see a/c disapear from Flight Aware for a few days then return from say CAE, BTR,VPS, etc (all ASA MTC stations).

How is this all done?
What gets measured gets done.
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RE: Airline Route/ Aircraft Planning

Wed May 18, 2011 5:53 am

Quoting FlyASAGuy2005 (Thread starter):
How is this all done?

Simply, by man, aided by computer.

I'll hazard to say that scheduled maintenance is the most important factor when scheduling an aircraft on any particular routing.

So, you need a program that interfaces with the maintenance planning folks. You need a program that talks with the aircraft (ACARS). The program, or the scheduler, needs to know the maintenance staffing and capabilities of a particular station. You need a program that is flexible and can act as a predictive tool.

The program should be able to model any aircraft swaps that occur due to an unscheduled maintenance event so that an aircraft that takes the trip will not overfly a check or some other scheduled task.
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RE: Airline Route/ Aircraft Planning

Wed May 18, 2011 4:49 pm

There's a branch of mathematics that I briefly touched on in university that has applications to this. We referred to it as combinatorics and optimization (C&O) but I see that now it's referred to as combinatorial optimization.

This gives you mathematical theory that allows you to efficiently model things like aircraft scheduling.

It was absolutely fascinating to study.
But that was when I ruled the world

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