Decision Modeling Framework to Minimize Arrival Delays from Ground Delay Programs Open Access

Convective weather and other constraints create uncertainty in air transportation, leading to costly delays. A Ground Delay Program (GDP) is a strategy to mitigate these effects. Systematic decision support can increase GDP efficacy, reduce delays, and minimize direct operating costs. In this study, a decision analysis (DA) model is constructed by combining a decision tree and Bayesian belief network. Through a study of three New York region airports, the DA model demonstrates that larger GDP scopes that include more flights in the program, along with longer lead times that provide stakeholders greater notice of a pending program, trigger the fewest average arrival delays. These findings are demonstrated to result in a savings of up to $1,850 per flight. Furthermore, when convective weather is predicted, forecast weather confidences remain the same level or greater at least 70% of the time, supporting more strategic decision making. The DA model thus enables quantification of uncertainties and insights on causal relationships, providing support for future GDP decisions.

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