Date of Award

Summer 2013

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Engineering Management & Systems Engineering

Committee Director

Ghaith Rabadi

Committee Member

Resit Unal

Committee Member

C. Ariel Pinto

Committee Member

Mecit Cetin


The problem addressed in this dissertation is the Aircraft Sequencing Problem (ASP) in which a schedule must be developed to determine the assignment of each aircraft to a runway, the appropriate sequence of aircraft on each runway, and their departing or landing times. The dissertation examines the ASP over multiple runways, under mixed mode operations with the objective of minimizing the total weighted tardiness of aircraft landings and departures simultaneously. To prevent the dangers associated with wake-vortex effects, separation times enforced by Aviation Administrations (e.g., FAA) are considered, adding another level of complexity given that such times are sequence-dependent. Due to the problem being NP-hard, it is computationally difficult to solve large scale instances in a reasonable amount of time. Therefore, three greedy algorithms, namely the Adapted Apparent Tardiness Cost with Separation and Ready Times (AATCSR), the Earliest Ready Time (ERT) and the Fast Priority Index (FPI) are proposed. Moreover, metaheuristics including Simulated Annealing (SA) and the Metaheuristic for Randomized Priority Search (Meta-RaPS) are introduced to improve solutions initially constructed by the proposed greedy algorithms. The performance (solution quality and computational time) of the various algorithms is compared to the optimal solutions and to each other.

The dissertation also addresses the Aircraft Reactive Scheduling Problem (ARSP) as air traffic systems frequently encounter various disruptions due to unexpected events such as inclement weather, aircraft failures or personnel shortages rendering the initial plan suboptimal or even obsolete in some cases. This research considers disruptions including the arrival of new aircraft, flight cancellations and aircraft delays. ARSP is formulated as a multi-objective optimization problem in which both the schedule's quality and stability are of interest. The objectives consist of the total weighted start times (solution quality), total weighted start time deviation, and total weighted runway deviation (instability measures). Repair and complete regeneration approximate algorithms are developed for each type of disruptive events. The algorithms are tested against difficult benchmark problems and the solutions are compared to optimal solutions in terms of solution quality, schedule stability and computational time.