The impact of heterogeneous arrival and departure rates of flights on runway configuration optimization

Kam K.H. Ng, C. K.M. Lee, S. Z. Zhang, K. L. Keung

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


The rapid growth of the airline industry has caused an enormous demand in the context of air transport and air traffic congestion in several hub airports. In order to alleviate this situation and resolve the imbalance between the arrival and departure rate, efficient runway usage in airport capacity management is an immediate and feasible solution as compared to airport expansion and runway construction. Air Traffic Control (ATC) operators could optimize their runway capacity by operating dynamic runway configuration in switch-mode runways based on the air and airport traffic conditions. A semi-mixed mode runway is considered in this paper, wherein some runways are configured for either landing or take-off operations, while others are operated in switch mode. The demand for arrival and departure is subject to the passenger's demand, flight availability, and timings, preferred flight schedule, and frequency of flight schedule service, and usually vary in different hours (peak and nonpeak hours). Given this feature, ATC can reconfigure the runway mode responding to the current demand for arrival and departure and further seize the runway capacity via a systematic approach. Under the semi-mixed mode situation, formulating the coordination of dynamic runway configuration planning and the Aircraft Sequencing and Scheduling Problem is proposed. The air traffic pattern in Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) is used as a test case to evaluate the performance of this proposed model. Based on the test results, it was found that this dynamic runway configuration planning and semi-mixed runway design can utilize runway capacity more efficiently. In the numerical study, the dynamic runway configuration planning achieved 71.6%% and 37.08% reduction of flight tardiness than the two segregated runway systems (two landings and one take-off runways and one landing and two take-off runways) in HKIA.

Original languageEnglish
JournalTransportation Letters
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 1 Dec 2020


  • air traffic control
  • airside operations
  • Dynamic runway configuration planning
  • mathematical modeling
  • runway scheduling
  • semi-mixed mode runway operation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Transportation


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