Air traffic and transportation planning and management

Flygplan på flygplats

We develop mathematical models and algorithmic solutions for challenges in air traffic management and air transportation. 

Air traffic is steadily increasing, highlighting the task of estimating airspace capacity and using it in the most beneficial way. The major impact on the capacity comes from uncertainties associated with weather and the stochastic nature of traffic demand.

We utilize optimization, simulation, computational geometry and other quantitative methods to solve resource optimization problems within air traffic planning. This include planning of both traditional aircraft and unmanned aerial vehicles, as well as crew and ground based resources, including airport services and ground transportation.

Current challenges include for example scheduling, flow planning, economic control strategies and air space design. A current example is the design, analysis and implementation of efficient algorithms for planning safe weather-avoiding jet routes taking into account the often conflicting objectives of many industry stakeholders.

Our algorithmic solutions are also applicable in various other domains of geometric motion planning, ranging from robotics to surveillance planning to unmanned aerial vehicle management to crowd evacuation to information propagation through SmartCity networks.

Selection of projects

  • SAILAS (Sustainable location of airports). There is currently no easy way to quantitatively analyze the impact of closing, opening, or moving an airport in Sweden. The project aims to collect existing methods and models, as well as add new ones, under a common framework that can be used for this type of analysis. One studied user case is the subsidy scheme adopted to guarantee accessibility to and from small communities or regions with insufficient demand (Public Service Obligation, PSO).
  • IWA. Weather has a big impact on air traffic management (ATM). Inefficient weather avoidance procedures and inaccurate prognosis lead to longer aircraft routes and, as a result, to fuel waste and increased negative environmental impact. This project will contribute to a better integration of weather information into the operational ATM-system which will ultimately improve the overall air traffic safety and efficiency.
  • New paradigms for unmanned traffic management. As the drone operations in city scenarios are growing, capacity estimation for the very low level urban airspace becomes of crucial importance. This project addresses questions like: How much traffic is it possible to have in a certain area (e.g., over a city) before safety is compromised, noise levels are exceeded, communication spectrum is jammed, etc.?
  • IFWHEN. The project studies impact of fleet diversity and weather on emissions, noise and predictability. It is a continuation of our previous project
  • ODESTA (Optimal Design of Terminal Airspace). The project focuses on the environmental impact of operations by considering tradeoffs between noise footprint, fuel consumption (which directly impacts emissions), flight time, resilience and other KPIs.

You can find more information about the area and the research group can be found at the AEAR group page



We have a very close collaboration with LFV (Swedish Civil Aviation Administration), but work also together with a large range of other Swedish and international stakeholders. 




We acknowledge support from Trafikverket (Swedish Transport Administration), Vinnova, Vetenskapsrådet (The Swedish Research Council), LFV (Swedish Civil Aviation Administration), Visual Sweden, Transportstyrelsen (Swedish Transport Agency), Engage and SESAR.

Research leader