Scheduling of urban air mobility services with limited landing capacity and uncertain travel times

Q. Wei, G. Nilsson, S. Coogan
American Control Conference, 2021


Urban air mobility, in which air transportation is used for relatively short trips within a city or region, is emerging as a possible component in future transportation networks. In this paper, we study the problem of how to schedule urban air mobility trips when travel times are uncertain. Unlike in ground transportation, urban air mobility scheduling has to take into account that there is limited landing capacity at each destination, and for safety reasons, it must be guaranteed that an air vehicle will be able to land before it can be allowed to take off. We first present a network model for an on-demand urban air mobility service with uncertain travel times and limited landing capacity at nodes. For the practically relevant special case of one final destination and many origins, we give necessary and sufficient conditions for a feasible schedule to exist for a given demand of flights. Next, we present a mixed integer program for obtaining an optimal schedule in this case. The paper concludes with a numerical study for a previously proposed urban air network in the city of Atlanta, Georgia.