An optimization framework for route design and allocation of aircraft to multiple departure routes

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In this article, we present the development of a two-step optimization framework to deal with the design and selection of aircraft departure routes and the allocation of flights among these routes. The aim of the framework is to minimize cumulative noise annoyance and fuel burn. In the first step of the framework, multi-objective trajectory optimization is used to compute and store a set of routes that will serve as inputs in the second step. In the second step, the selection of routes from the sets of pre-computed optimal routes and the optimal allocation of flights to these routes are conducted simultaneously. To validate the proposed framework, we also conduct an analysis involving an integrated (one-step) approach, in which both trajectory optimization and route allocation are formulated as a single optimization problem. A comparison of both approaches is then performed, and their advantages and disadvantages are identified. The performance and capabilities of the present framework are demonstrated using a case study at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol in The Netherlands. The numerical results show that the proposed framework can generate solutions which can achieve a reduction in the number of people annoyed of up to 31% and a reduction in fuel consumption of 7.3% relative to the reference case solution.