Airline Industry Expert Systems
The schedulling flights based on economics, environmental, regulatory
requirements and airway traffic parameters is extremely complex.
And mistakes extremely costly.
So too in aircraft maintenance, the human cost of mistakes means
the cost of avoiding human error is .
Expert systems typically found in the avaition industry include:
- The Aviation Expert System - used to clarify psychological assessment
issues in the field of aviation.
- GAPATS - General Aviation Pilot Advisor
and Training System
- AMES - Aircraft Maintenance Expert Systems
- Operations Management - Flights Schedulling,
Crew Rostering, Airline Gate Allocation Schedulling.
- CASRAP - Civil Aviation Security Risk
The General Aviation Pilot Advisor and Training System (GAPATS)
is a computerized airborne expert system developed jointly by Knowledge
Based Systems, Inc. (KBSI) and Texas A&M University (TAMU).
This system uses AI fuzzy logic to infer the flight mode of an
aircraft to enhance the pilot’s situational awareness and
reduce the cost and time required to achieve and maintain pilot
information on GPATS
Aircraft Maintenance Expert Systems
Manual procedures around aircraft maintenance are very strenuous
and time consuming. AMES expert system assists in the diagnosis
of aircraft problems.
Operations Management Decision Suppport
Airline operational planning, scheduling and controlling [OPSC]
is one of the most demanding operational scenarios.
Flight operational control decision-making operates within the
structured flight schedule planning [long and short run] developed
by airline competitive strategy.
Managing the flight schedule on a daily basis, in a highly dynamic
environment affected by weather, unscheduled equipment maintenance,
crew shortages, regulatory factors, and aircraft loading makes profitable
deployment and management of a pre-determined flight schedule very
Airline operational management systems are heuristic, experience-based
tools that apply the above factors in a real-time decision support
Airlines rely on decision-making tools that can provide qualified,
if not quantified information rapidly. Its the only way to stay
economically competitive. Typical systems include:
Singapore Airlines - recently deployed a commercial AI based DSS
platform to support scheduling, crew, maintenance decisions.
Southwest developed their own Integrated Flight Tracking System
[Swift] in 1995. SWIFT allows 37 dispatchers the ability to track
2,200 daily flights, in just 45 seconds [previously a 15 minute
calculation]. Swift provides AI decision-making, removing the need
to manually filter through irrelevant information. Maintenance,
planning, and other functions have since been integrated to Swift.
Delta Airlines custom built system, AI-DSS automatically determines
the solutions to problems such as: Which aircraft in a large holding
pattern should land first? Or which flight(s) should be canceled
or re-routed as a result of ATC flow control?
United Airlines AI-DSS called System Operations Advisor [SOA] reduced
potential delays of over 2,000 flights a day on over five continents
by 27,000 minutes in the first 12 months. This translated related
delay cost savings of around $540,000.
A "solve button" on module programs integrates to real-time
decision support for delaying a flight, swapping and canceling.
A graphical user interface (GUI) may be used to set up models for
solving specific real-time problems.
After pushing the solve button, SOA provides the optimal cost solution
along with other [ranked] alternatives.
United has also developed integrated AI-DSS modules to assist with
the management of gates, passenger flow, and overall staffing.
Cathay Pacifics hierarchy for strategic planning was structured
- Long term strategy - includes analysis of new
aircraft type, evaluation of fleet plan, effects of aircraft on
deployed routes, and new route studies
- Medium and short run planning - consist of
the same considerations conducted in long range planning with
the addition of seasonal and weekly ad hoc modifications.
For short term planning Cathay developed an AI-DSS platform called
'Interactive Flight Scheduling System' [IFSS]. The IFSS also allows
the user to manually Add, Delete, Move, Exchange, and Search various
A utility function allows the airline to pre-define the probabilities
for utility of affected operational attributes for each calculated
solution. This determines the highest probability of economic utility
between solutions to a defined problem, allowing the operational
manager to refine the IFSS selected solution within real-time decision
Civil Aviation Security Risk Assessment
AKELA has developed an risk assessment program [CASRAP] to examine
and assess the three major elements of risk - threats, vulnerabilities,
and assets - and then determine the impact of mitigating measures
on overall security risk. The system allows comparison between airports
in widely varying operating environments.
The program leads the user through a vulnerability assessment
which includes: physical, operational, and technical elements of
security in each of the major areas of an airport. Full
details on CASRAP [pdf]
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