Recoverable robust single day aircraft maintenance routing problem

Stephen J. Maher, Guy Desaulniers, François Soumis

Aircraft maintenance planning is of critical importance to the safe and efficient operations of an airline. It is common to solve the aircraft routing and maintenance planning problems many months in advance, with the solution spanning multiple days. An unfortunate consequence of this approach is the possible infeasibility of the maintenance plan due to frequent perturbations occurring in operations. There is an emerging concept that focuses on the generation of aircraft routes for a single day to ensure maintenance coverage that night, alleviating the effects of schedule perturbations from preceding days. In this paper, we present a novel approach to ensure that a sufficient number of aircraft routes are provided each day so maintenance critical aircraft receive maintenance that night. By penalising the under supply of routes terminating at maintenance stations from each overnight airport, we construct a single day routing to provide the best possible maintenance plan. This single day aircraft maintenance routing problem (SDAMRP) is further protected from disruptions by employing the recoverable robustness technique. To efficiently solve the recoverable robust SDAMRP acceleration techniques, such as identifying Pareto-optimal cuts and a trust region approach, have been applied. The SDAMRP is evaluated against a set of flight schedules and the results demonstrate a significantly improved aircraft maintenance plan. Further, the results demonstrate the magnitude of recoverability improvement that is achieved by employing recoverable robustness to the SDAMRP.

Computers & Operations Research, 51:130 – 145, 2014.

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