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The importance of considering pushback time and arrivals when routing departures on the ground at airports


With the constant increase in air traffic, airports are facing capacity problems. Many airports are increasingly interested in utilising optimisation methods for specific airport processes. However, many such processes do happen in parallel, and maximising the potential benefits will require a complex optimisation model. A model which considers multiple processes simultaneously and the detailed complexities of the processes, rather than using more abstract models. This paper investigates how the arriving aircraft can affect the routing process and whether the pushback process can result into different types of delays. Furthermore, aircraft are routed backwards, starting from the destination in order to be at the runway on time and to respect the departure sequence. After testing our model with and without the arriving aircraft we found that arriving aircraft can indeed produce a lot of delays. Such delays would otherwise pass unnoticed as they result to departing aircraft choose different paths or pushback earlier so they be at the runway on time. Having an accurate model for the pushback process is important in order to understand in depth how the pushback process affects the other processes that happen in parallel. Furthermore, it led to more accurate and realistic model, which may assist the decision making process for ground movement operations and thereby help airports increase their capacity and become more environmentally friendly.


Academic article




  • Christofas Stergianos
  • Jason Atkin
  • Patrick Schittekat
  • Tomas Nordlander
  • Chris Gerada
  • Herve Morvan


  • University of Nottingham
  • SINTEF Digital / Mathematics and Cybernetics



Published in

Lecture Notes in Management Science






41 - 46

View this publication at Cristin