Public Transport

, Volume 5, Issue 1–2, pp 25–40 | Cite as

The trade-off between taxi time and fuel consumption in airport ground movement

  • Stefan RavizzaEmail author
  • Jun Chen
  • Jason A. D. Atkin
  • Edmund K. Burke
  • Paul Stewart
Original Paper


Environmental issues play an important role across many sectors. This is particularly the case in the air transportation industry. One area which has remained relatively unexplored in this context is the ground movement problem for aircraft on the airport’s surface. Aircraft have to be routed from a gate to a runway and vice versa and a key area of study is whether fuel burn and environmental impact improvements will best result from purely minimising the taxi times or whether it is also important to avoid multiple acceleration phases. This paper presents a newly developed multi-objective approach for analysing the trade-off between taxi time and fuel consumption during taxiing. The approach consists of a combination of a graph-based routing algorithm and a population adaptive immune algorithm to discover different speed profiles of aircraft. Analysis with data from a European hub airport has highlighted the impressive performance of the new approach. Furthermore, it is shown that the trade-off between taxi time and fuel consumption is very sensitive to the fuel-related objective function which is used.


Airport operations Environmental impact Graph-based approach Ground movement Multi-objective routing 



The authors wish to thank the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) for providing the funding which made this research possible. We would also like to thank Flughafen Zürich AG who provided the real dataset and the trained commercial pilots who provided us with helpful insights into taxi behaviours at large airports, especially those who work for Swiss International Air Lines AG.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stefan Ravizza
    • 1
    Email author
  • Jun Chen
    • 2
  • Jason A. D. Atkin
    • 1
  • Edmund K. Burke
    • 3
  • Paul Stewart
    • 2
  1. 1.School of Computer ScienceUniversity of NottinghamNottinghamUK
  2. 2.School of EngineeringUniversity of LincolnLincolnUK
  3. 3.Department of Computing and MathematicsUniversity of StirlingStirlingUK

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