Cancellation Disruption Index Tool





Project Background and Vision Statement

With the number of flights traveling throughout the United States today, it is inevitable that schedule changes must be made. Flights are typically scheduled months in advance, taking many factors into consideration. Crew member schedules, air space, gate availability, as well as many other factors are essential constituents used to determine a flight schedule given the projected information. Despite careful planning, delay or cancellation decisions must be made due to weather conditions, ground traffic at each airport, airport infrastructure construction, and other flight delays.

Airline Operations Centers (AOC) dispatchers adjust flight schedules dynamically throughout the day. This adjusting process is, however, based to a great extent on controllers' intuitions and acquired domain knowledge. A more sophisticated strategy for schedule recovery is needed to aid the dispatchers' decisions and therefore avoid unnecessary costs to the airline. Once this system is implemented, controllers will have access to an automated decision support tool allowing them to make more educated judgments.

Our task is to determine the down path impact of canceling a scheduled flight. We are working to develop an algorithm/tool for prioritizing flights for cancellation in a way which will minimize the downstream schedule disruption.


Project Scope
The team will begin by examining the connectedness of each flight in a one-day schedule for a single airline by considering each destination-origin leg as the connection criteria. After examining the data, the team will refine the definition of connectedness. The team will focus on the planned schedule vs. the actual (real time) schedule to provide a tool for prioritizing flights for cancellation based on disruption. The main objective while canceling flights will be lowering the overall network disruption.



Last update: Monday, April 28, 2008