Scheduling aircraft landings at London Heathrow using a population heuristic (with J. Sonander and P. Havelock) Journal of the Operational Research Society, vol. 52 2001, pp483-493

With increasing levels of air traffic making effective use of limited airport capacity is obviously important. This paper reports on an investigation undertaken by National Air Traffic Services in the UK into improving runway utilisation at London Heathrow. This investigation centred on developing an algorithm for improving the scheduling of aircraft waiting to land.

The heuristic algorithm developed (a population heuristic) is discussed and results presented using actual operational data relating to aircraft landings at London Heathrow. This data indicates that our algorithm could have improved on air traffic control decisions in such cases by between 2-5% in terms of reducing the timespan required to land all of the aircraft considered.

Keywords: air traffic control, aircraft landing, population heuristic

J E Beasley