Advances in Operations Research
Volume 2010 (2010), Article ID 436765, 21 pages
Research Article

A Runway Configuration Management Model with Marginally Decreasing Transition Capacities

1Department of Mathematical Sciences, United States Military Academy, West Point, NY 10996-1786, USA
2Computational Operations Research, College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, VA 23187-8795, USA
3Department of Mathematics, College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, VA 23187-8795, USA

Received 29 July 2010; Revised 8 October 2010; Accepted 10 November 2010

Academic Editor: Shangyao Yan

Copyright © 2010 Christopher Weld et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The runway configuration management (RCM) problem governs what combinations of airport runways are in use at a given time, and to what capacity. Runway configurations (groupings of runways) operate under runway configuration capacity envelopes (RCCEs) which limit arrival and departure capacities. The RCCE identifies unique capacity constraints based on which tarmacs are used for arrivals, departures, or both, and their direction of travel. When switching between RCCEs, some decrement in arrival and departure capacities is incurred by the transition. A previous RCM model (Frankovich et al., 2009) accounted for this cost through a required period of inactivity. In this paper, we instead focus on the introduction and assessment of a model capable of marginally decreasing RCCE capacities during configuration transitions. A transition penalty matrix is introduced, specifying the relative costs (in terms of accepted arrival and departure capacities) for switching between RCCEs. The new model benefits from customizable transition penalties which more closely represent real-world conditions, at a reasonable computational cost.