Modelling delay propagation trees for scheduled flights

Bruno Campanelli1, Pablo Fleurquin1, Andrés Arranz2, Izaro Etxebarria2, Carla Ciruelos2, Victor M. Eguiluz1 and José J. Ramasco1
1Instituto de Física Interdisciplinar y Sistemas Complejos IFISC (CSIC-UIB), Palma de Mallorca, Spain.
2Transport and ICT Directorate, Ingeniería de Sistemas para la Defensa de España, S.A. (ISDEFE),Madrid, Spain.

(April 2016)

Complex Systems are those in which a very large number of elements interact, usually in a non-linear fashion, producing emergent behaviors that are typically difficult to predict. Air transportation systems fall in this category, with a large number of aircraft following a pre-scheduled program. It has been shown that it is possible to understand and forecast delays propagation in these systems. The objective of this analysis is to compare the modeling in the US and in the European air traffic networks, analyzing the propagation of delays due to failures in the schedule or to disturbances. We use two different agent based models recently developed to simulate the delays propagation and assess the effect of disruptions in the networks (US and ECAC areas). Our results show that a first-come first-served protocol managing the flights produces larger congestion when compared with an ATFM (Air Traffic Flow Management) slots priority system.