Innovation leads to fewer delays for airlines and travellers

Innovation leads to fewer delays for airlines and travellers

Fewer delays for airlines and travelers. That is the goal of the Decision Support Tool (DST) developed by Air Traffic Control the Netherlands (LVNL).

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Fewer delays for airlines and travellers. This is the goal of the Decision Support Tool (DST) developed by Air Traffic Control the Netherlands (LVNL). To keep the volume of flights to Schiphol in balance with the capacity of the airspace, LVNL must frequently delay flights by regulating them. Regulating involves delaying flights at their departure airport by holding at the gate, causing the flights to arrive at Schiphol later. These delays are costly for airlines and annoying for travellers. DST uses new simulation techniques and machine learning to achieve an optimal balance between capacity and sustainability, well before flights enter the Dutch airspace.

The available LVNL capacity depends, among other things, on the available runways at Schiphol, weather conditions around the airport, and the time of day. When the number of flights entering the LVNL airspace exceeds the available capacity, flights are delayed by assigning indirect routes to Schiphol, which are more circuitous. This leads to more emissions and less efficient handling. Regulating these flights more precisely means they can be delayed in advance by holding them at the gates of the departure airports. Airborne holding delays are thus avoided.

"With DST, we have access to an innovative tool that allows us to precisely utilise the available capacity and to also avoid overburdening air traffic controllers while they perform their work."

José Daenen Director Operations LVNL

José Daenen, Director of Operations LVNL: "DST prevents delay by visualizing the expected imbalance in volume and capacity, reducing the need for regulations. By way of a simulation, it shows the status of the air traffic for the coming hours, where bottlenecks are to be expected, and which solutions will most likely lead to the fewest delay minutes. With DST, we have access to an innovative tool that allows us to precisely utilise the available capacity and to also avoid overburdening air traffic controllers while they perform their work."

Innovation 

The Decision Support Tool uses advanced, enhanced simulation tools and machine learning. DST shows the available runways, the flight handling capacity, the weather forecast, and how much traffic can be expected. With its improved simulation capabilities, an optimal solution that causes as little traffic delay as possible can be chosen. 

Preventing delay 

In 2019, more than one million delay minutes were required in Dutch airspace in order to balance discrepancies in air traffic volume and capacity. Every delay minute that can be prevented saves airlines an estimated €100 in costs. Many delays have external causes, such as adverse weather conditions like fog, wind, heavy rain, and runway maintenance. These delays cannot be avoided. However, LVNL estimates that several percentage points can be saved, resulting in millions of annual cost-savings for airlines.

Innovation leads to fewer delays for airlines and travellers

Innovation leads to fewer delays for airlines and travellers

DST was developed jointly by Triopsys, Ferway, Xomnia, and Okapion.

DST was developed jointly by Triopsys, Ferway, Xomnia, and Okapion and has been deployed alongside existing systems since the end of March 2023. Initial results from this introductory phase show that DST will reduce unnecessary delay minutes on the ground and in the airspace. 

Contact

Contact our spokespersons

For all press and media questions, please contact media relations. Phone: +31 0800 5865 266 or mediarelaties@lvnl.nl