Classification, Analysis, and Prediction of the Daily Operations of Airports Using Machine Learning
Puranik, Tejas G.
Pinon, Olivia J.
Mavris, Dimitri N.
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The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is the regulatory body in the United States responsible for the advancement, safety, and regulation of civil aviation. The FAA also oversees the development of the air traffic control system in the U.S. Over the years, the FAA has made tremendous progress in modernizing the National Airspace System (NAS) by way of technological advancements and the introduction of procedures and policies that have maintained the safety of the United States airspace. However, as with any other system, there is a need to continuously address evolving challenges pertaining to the sustainment and resiliency of the NAS. One of these challenges involves efficiently analyzing and assessing the operations of airports. In particular, there is a need to assess the impact and effectiveness of the implementation of Traffic Management Initiatives (TMI) and other procedures on daily airport operations, as this will lead to the identification of trends and patterns to inform better decision making. The FAA currently manually classifies the daily operations of airports into three categories: “Good Days”, “Average Days”, and “Bad Days” as a means to assess their efficiency. However, this exercise is time-consuming and can be improved. In particular, Big Data Analytics can be leveraged to develop a systematic approach for classifying or clustering the daily operations of airports. This research presents a methodology for clustering the daily operations of Newark International Airport (EWR) using metrics such as the number of diversions, Ground Stops, departure delays, etc. Each of these categories/clusters is then analyzed to identify key characteristics, trends and patterns, which can then be used by airport operators, and FAA analysts and researchers to improve the operations at the airport. Finally, the Boosting Ensemble Machine Learning algorithm is used to predict the category of operations at the airport, hence enabling airport operators, FAA analysts and researchers to take appropriate actions.