A combined optimization–simulation approach for modified outside-in boarding under COVID-19 regulations including limited baggage compartment capacities

Schultz, M., Soolaki, M., Salari, M. and Bakhshian, E. 2023. A combined optimization–simulation approach for modified outside-in boarding under COVID-19 regulations including limited baggage compartment capacities. Journal of Air Transport Management. 106 102258. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jairtraman.2022.102258

TitleA combined optimization–simulation approach for modified outside-in boarding under COVID-19 regulations including limited baggage compartment capacities
TypeJournal article
AuthorsSchultz, M., Soolaki, M., Salari, M. and Bakhshian, E.
Abstract

The timely handling of passengers is critical to efficient airport and airline operations. The pandemic requirements mandate adapted process designs and handling procedures to maintain and improve operational performance. Passenger activities in the confined aircraft cabin must be evaluated to potential virus transmission, and boarding procedures should be designed to minimize the negative impact on passengers and operations. In our approach, we generate an optimized seat allocation that considers passengers’ physical activities when they store their hand luggage items in the overhead compartment. We proposed a mixed-integer programming formulation including the concept of shedding rates to determine and minimize the risk of virus transmission by solving the NP-hard seat assignment problem. We are improving the already efficient outside-in boarding, where passengers in the window seat board first and passengers in the aisle seat board last, taking into account COVID-19 regulations and the limited capacity of overhead compartments. To demonstrate and evaluate the improvements achieved in aircraft boarding, a stochastic agent-based model is used in which three operational scenarios with seat occupancy of 50%, 66%, and 80% are implemented. With our optimization approach, the average boarding time and the transmission risk are significantly reduced already for the general case, i.e., when no specific boarding order is specified (random boarding). If the already efficient outside-in boarding is used as a reference, the boarding time can be reduced by more than 30% by applying our approach, while keeping the transmission risk at the lowest level.

KeywordsAircraft boarding
Mixed-integer programming
Optimized seat allocation
Stochastic agent-based model
COVID-19
Hand luggage
Article number102258
JournalJournal of Air Transport Management
Journal citation106
ISSN0969-6997
Year2023
PublisherElsevier
Accepted author manuscript
License
CC BY-NC-ND 4.0
File Access Level
Open (open metadata and files)
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jairtraman.2022.102258
Web address (URL)https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0969699722000783?ref=cra_js_challenge&fr=RR-1
Publication dates
Published online22 Jul 2022
Published in printJan 2023

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