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Improved Flight Time Predictions for Fuel Loading Decisions of Scheduled Flights with a Deep Learning Approach

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

Under increasing economic and environmental pressure, airlines are constantly seeking new technologies and optimizing flight operations to reduce fuel consumption. However, the current policy on fuel loading, which has a significant impact on aircraft weight, leaves room for improvement. Excess fuel is loaded by dispatchers and(or) pilots to ensure safety because of fuel consumption uncertainties, primarily caused by flight time uncertainties, which cannot be predicted by current Flight Planning Systems (FPS). In this paper, we develop a novel spatial weighted recurrent neural network model to provide better flight time predictions by capturing air traffic information at a national scale based on multiple data sources, including Automatic Dependent Surveillance - Broadcast, Meteorological Airdrome Reports, and airline records. In this model, we adopt recurrent neural network layers to extract spatiotemporal correlations between features utilizing the repetitive traffic patterns and interacting elements in aviation traffic networks. A spatial weighted layer is introduced to learn origin-destination (OD) specific features, and a two-step training procedure is introduced to integrate individual OD models into one model for a national air traffic network. This model was trained and tested using one year of historical data from real operations. Results show that our model can provide a more accurate flight time predictions than the FPS and the LASSO methods, especially for flights with extreme delays. We also show that with the improved flight time prediction, fuel loading can be optimized to reduce fuel consumption by 0.83% for an example airline's fleet without increasing the fuel depletion risk.


A Data Mining Approach to Flight Arrival Delay Prediction for American Airlines

arXiv.org Machine Learning

In the present scenario of domestic flights in USA, there have been numerous instances of flight delays and cancellations. In the United States, the American Airlines, Inc. have been one of the most entrusted and the world's largest airline in terms of number of destinations served. But when it comes to domestic flights, AA has not lived up to the expectations in terms of punctuality or on-time performance. Flight Delays also result in airline companies operating commercial flights to incur huge losses. So, they are trying their best to prevent or avoid Flight Delays and Cancellations by taking certain measures. This study aims at analyzing flight information of US domestic flights operated by American Airlines, covering top 5 busiest airports of US and predicting possible arrival delay of the flight using Data Mining and Machine Learning Approaches. The Gradient Boosting Classifier Model is deployed by training and hyper-parameter tuning it, achieving a maximum accuracy of 85.73%. Such an Intelligent System is very essential in foretelling flights'on-time performance.


Multi-Airport Delay Prediction with Transformers

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

Airport performance prediction with a reasonable look-ahead time is a challenging task and has been attempted by various prior research. Traffic, demand, weather, and traffic management actions are all critical inputs to any prediction model. In this paper, a novel approach based on Temporal Fusion Transformer (TFT) was proposed to predict departure and arrival delays simultaneously for multiple airports at once. This approach can capture complex temporal dynamics of the inputs known at the time of prediction and then forecast selected delay metrics up to four hours into the future. When dealing with weather inputs, a self-supervised learning (SSL) model was developed to encode high-dimensional weather data into a much lower-dimensional representation to make the training of TFT more efficiently and effectively. The initial results show that the TFT-based delay prediction model achieves satisfactory performance measured by smaller prediction errors on a testing dataset. In addition, the interpretability analysis of the model outputs identifies the important input factors for delay prediction. The proposed approach is expected to help air traffic managers or decision makers gain insights about traffic management actions on delay mitigation and once operationalized, provide enough lead time to plan for predicted performance degradation.


Artificial Neural Network Modeling for Airline Disruption Management

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

Since the 1970s, most airlines have incorporated computerized support for managing disruptions during flight schedule execution. However, existing platforms for airline disruption management (ADM) employ monolithic system design methods that rely on the creation of specific rules and requirements through explicit optimization routines, before a system that meets the specifications is designed. Thus, current platforms for ADM are unable to readily accommodate additional system complexities resulting from the introduction of new capabilities, such as the introduction of unmanned aerial systems (UAS), operations and infrastructure, to the system. To this end, we use historical data on airline scheduling and operations recovery to develop a system of artificial neural networks (ANNs), which describe a predictive transfer function model (PTFM) for promptly estimating the recovery impact of disruption resolutions at separate phases of flight schedule execution during ADM. Furthermore, we provide a modular approach for assessing and executing the PTFM by employing a parallel ensemble method to develop generative routines that amalgamate the system of ANNs. Our modular approach ensures that current industry standards for tardiness in flight schedule execution during ADM are satisfied, while accurately estimating appropriate time-based performance metrics for the separate phases of flight schedule execution.


Propagation of Delays in the National Airspace System

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

The National Airspace System (NAS) is a large and complex system with thousands of interrelated components: administration, control centers, airports, airlines, aircraft, passengers, etc. The complexity of the NAS creates many difficulties in management and control. One of the most pressing problems is flight delay. Delay creates high cost to airlines, complaints from passengers, and difficulties for airport operations. As demand on the system increases, the delay problem becomes more and more prominent. For this reason, it is essential for the Federal Aviation Administration to understand the causes of delay and to find ways to reduce delay. Major contributing factors to delay are congestion at the origin airport, weather, increasing demand, and air traffic management (ATM) decisions such as the Ground Delay Programs (GDP). Delay is an inherently stochastic phenomenon. Even if all known causal factors could be accounted for, macro-level national airspace system (NAS) delays could not be predicted with certainty from micro-level aircraft information. This paper presents a stochastic model that uses Bayesian Networks (BNs) to model the relationships among different components of aircraft delay and the causal factors that affect delays. A case study on delays of departure flights from Chicago O'Hare international airport (ORD) to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) reveals how local and system level environmental and human-caused factors combine to affect components of delay, and how these components contribute to the final arrival delay at the destination airport.