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Aircraft turnaround and industrial actions: How ground handlers' strikes affect airport airside operational efficiency


  • Malandri, Caterina
  • Mantecchini, Luca
  • Reis, Vasco


The efficiency of airport turnaround operations has often been compromised by various disruptive events out of the airlines' control, such as strikes, which negatively influence the punctuality and regularity of operations. The purpose of this work is to determine the loss of airport operational performance provoked by ground handlers' industrial actions. A discrete-event simulation model of both aircraft landing-and-takeoff (LTO) cycles and turnaround operations has been built by using AnyLogic. If the number of ground handler's operators decreases, turnaround operations require more time to be performed, resulting in delayed departures and knock-on delays. For the case study of Lisbon “Humberto Delgado†airport, turnaround time increases more than linearly with respect to the decrease of staff resources in service. When the number of operators decreases under a certain threshold, turnaround lengthening cannot be absorbed by buffer times and departure delays propagate in cascade over the day. This threshold should call for emergency actions and contingency plans.

Suggested Citation

  • Malandri, Caterina & Mantecchini, Luca & Reis, Vasco, 2019. "Aircraft turnaround and industrial actions: How ground handlers' strikes affect airport airside operational efficiency," Journal of Air Transport Management, Elsevier, vol. 78(C), pages 23-32.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jaitra:v:78:y:2019:i:c:p:23-32
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jairtraman.2019.04.007

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Andrew Cook & Graham Tanner & Adrian Lawes, 2012. "The Hidden Cost of Airline Unpunctuality," Journal of Transport Economics and Policy, University of Bath, vol. 46(2), pages 157-173, May.
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    5. Mota, Miguel Mujica & Boosten, Geert & De Bock, Nico & Jimenez, Edgar & de Sousa, Jorge Pinho, 2017. "Simulation-based turnaround evaluation for Lelystad Airport," Journal of Air Transport Management, Elsevier, vol. 64(PA), pages 21-32.
    6. Norin, Anna & Granberg, Tobias Andersson & Yuan, Di & Värbrand, Peter, 2012. "Airport logistics – A case study of the turn-around process," Journal of Air Transport Management, Elsevier, vol. 20(C), pages 31-34.
    7. Wong, Jinn-Tsai & Tsai, Shy-Chang, 2012. "A survival model for flight delay propagation," Journal of Air Transport Management, Elsevier, vol. 23(C), pages 5-11.
    8. Wu, Cheng-Lung & Caves, Robert E., 2002. "Modelling of aircraft rotation in a multiple airport environment," Transportation Research Part E: Logistics and Transportation Review, Elsevier, vol. 38(3-4), pages 265-277, May.
    9. AhmadBeygi, Shervin & Cohn, Amy & Guan, Yihan & Belobaba, Peter, 2008. "Analysis of the potential for delay propagation in passenger airline networks," Journal of Air Transport Management, Elsevier, vol. 14(5), pages 221-236.
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