Operational Reliability of the Airport System: Monitoring and Forecasting

Álvaro Rodríguez-Sanz, Beatriz Rubio Fernández, Fernando Gómez Comendador, Rosa Arnaldo Valdés, José Manuel Cordero García, Margarita Bagamanova

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
2 Downloads (Pure)


Airports are intermodal nodes that can act as disruption drivers throughout the entire transport system. To ensure the robustness of the transport network, airport managers and policy makers need means to assess operational reliability and delve into its precursors. This paper develops a model to evaluate potential malfunctions of an airport, through the definition of proactive performance indicators. The model is based on the Multi-State Systems (MSS) reliability theory, as a natural extension of classical binary-state evaluation: airports present different performance levels and several failure modes with various effects on the entire system performance (degradation). The operational reliability assessment is achieved with random processes (Markov) methods. The analysis is focused on the airspace-airside integrated infrastructure, using a dynamic spatial boundary associated with the Extended Terminal Maneuvering Area (E-TMA) concept. The study evaluates the ‘visit’ of an aircraft to the E-TMA, which consists of three separate sections: (a) final approach; (b) turnaround process; and (c) initial climb segment. The reliability model represents a framework to test different ‘what-if’ scenarios and to reduce uncertainty by categorizing different behavior patterns. Therefore, it allows us to predict how probable is for the system to enter a degraded state. The methodology is validated through a case study at Madrid Airport (LEMD): a collection of nearly 34,000 aircraft turnarounds is used to statistically determine the system operational characteristics. The main contribution of this paper is to provide a mechanism to monitor and forecast the system’s state, as a way to proactively assess the operational reliability of airports.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)363-370
Number of pages8
JournalTransportation Research Procedia
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Externally publishedYes
Event13th Conference on Transport Engineering, CIT 2018 - Gijon, Spain
Duration: 6 Jun 20188 Jun 2018


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