Air transport industry experts and professionals assemble to address Airport Slot Allocation issues

A graphics showing multiple aeroplanes on and above the tarmac at an airport

Leading figures from across the air transport industry will assemble to consider how to change a key part of their industry.

Operational research experts from Lancaster University Management School’s Centre for Transport and Logistics will lead a workshop that brings together UK, US, and European academics, alongside airline, airport, government, and international organisation experts.

The Optimization Based Airport Slot Allocation: Implications for Policy and Practice event in Windsor on Tuesday, June 4, comes at the end of the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)-funded OR-MASTER project.

OR-MASTER is led by operational research and air transport experts in CENTRAL, working with Computing, Science and Mathematics researchers at Leicester University and Bangor University.

Since 2015, the project has worked to develop mathematical models and algorithms to address growing concerns over capacity management at overly congested airports, which impacts both the travelling public and the air transport industry.

The aim is to help improve decision-making for how capacity at these airports, and within a network of airports, is allocated to airlines.

Distinguished Professor Konstantinos Zografos, Principal Investigator on OR-MASTER, will present the implications of the project’s work for policy and practice. He said: “Demand for flights from the world’s biggest airports is only increasing, but airports have only so many arrival and departure slots they can fill. This is a problem which has only grown in recent years – and which will continue to do so unless measures can be taken to address it.

“Air travel and administrative bodies around the world are affected by these issues, and our OR-MASTER project has brought together a brilliant team of researchers – and built invaluable connections within industry – that have allowed us to properly consider potential solutions. We are seeking an optimised, transparent, and fair approach for efficiently allocating this scarce capacity to benefit airlines, airports, and the travelling public.

“While the project is now coming to its conclusion, the work will continue to prove valuable. We look forward to continuing our collaborations with the researchers and organisations involved, and hopefully together we can see a new system introduced that is fair, transparent, and efficient.”

Alongside Professor Zografos, other figures participating at the event will be Distinguished Professor Kevin Glazebrook, also of LUMS; Professor Edmund Burke, Vice-Chancellor of Bangor University; speaker and panellist Steve Hammond, Principal Consultant of NATS (formerly National Air Traffic Services); speaker Professor Amedeo R Odoni, of MIT; and panellists Professor António Pais Antunes, of the University of Coimbra, Portugal; and Lucy Hodgson, of London Heathrow Airport.

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