Optimization for gate re-assignment

Dong Zhang*, Diego Klabjan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Disruptions such as adverse weather, flight delays and flight cancellations are a frequent occurrence in airport operations. A sophisticated gate assignment plan can be easily disrupted and serious consequences might be caused. Therefore, an efficient gate re-assignment methodology is of great importance for the airline industry. In this paper, we propose an efficient gate re-assignment methodology to deal with the disruptions, in which the objective function is to minimize the weighted sum of the total flight delays, the number of gate re-assignment operations and the number of missed passenger connections. Two multi-commodity network flow models are built for the pure gate re-assignment problem and the gate re-assignment problem with connecting passengers. Recognizing the inherent NP hard nature of the gate re-assignment problem, two heuristic algorithms are proposed to solve the models efficiently. The proposed models and algorithms are tested based on real-world data of a large U.S. carrier and computational results reveal that the proposed methodologies can provide high quality solutions within a short computational time.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)260-284
Number of pages25
JournalTransportation Research Part B: Methodological
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017


  • Diving heuristic
  • Gate re-assignment
  • Multi-commodity network flow model
  • Rolling horizon

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Transportation

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