A framework for the analysis of aircraft turnaround at congested airports
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To alleviate the delay and emphasize the time efficiency of ground operations, the airlines could consider an innovative operational framework. The aim of the research focuses on improving the aircraft turnaround process with current capacity. The research work presented in the current dissertation has captured that the ground processes are an essential cause of departure delay and has explored strategies for improvement in the aircraft turnaround process such that little to no investment from the airlines would be required. The critical improvement concept presented is the integration of work procedures including all stakeholders and management of relevant resources. Discrete Event Simulation (DES) can be a suitable modeling solution when considering the vast and complex airport environment. For reliable simulation modeling, the historical flight data has been analyzed, and all turnaround activities and their time for the selected aircraft models have been discussed. A simulation of the turnaround process was created employing the input data and capturing multiple operational scenarios. Based on the performance of the simulator, the direct operating cost is calculated under different scenarios. The minimal cost of the overall system is captured and indicates the dominant elements to reduce the total cost. This cost reduction, achievable thanks to the “What-if” capabilities of the simulations, will be the incentive required to encourage airlines into a symbiotic turnaround environment producing more stable schedules.