Current students

Jorn van Beek (MSc) Evaluation of Arrival Manager Horizon Extension in a Trajectory Management context

The Arrival Manager (AMAN) system is used to provide regulation on aircraft entering the Terminal Maneuvering Area (TMA). New regulations require the AMAN to freeze the sequence further ahead than the current 14 minutes with the aim of reducing fuel burn and decreasing controller workload. The increased horizon combined with uncertainty on arriving aircraft cause these aircraft to “pop-up”. This causes sequence errors which increase workload and fuel burn. These effects are more pronounced when using the AMAN in a Trajectory Based Operation (TBO) environment. Previously, research on the horizon extension and pop-up impact and solutions has been performed, although in idealized scenarios without a realistic solution. This research aims to model the Arrival Manager in high fidelity to support decisions on the Arrival Manager design, and to develop and test realistic solutions to decrease the impact of the pop-up traffic when extending the AMAN horizon towards TBO operations.


Tex Ruskamp (MSc) Reducing uncertainty for Flow Management of arriving traffic at Schiphol before departure

At LVNL a Decision Support System (DST) is used to support ACC Supervisors and Flow Managers (FMP) in their decisions to issue flow regulations to the Network Manager of Eurocontrol in Brussels. The horizon at which flow regulations are typically issued is three to four hours before arrival at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport. However, at this time horizon, a significant portion of the arriving traffic is still on the ground at the so-called out-stations. Previous research has shown that a significant portion of the uncertainty in the predicted traffic demand is originated in the pre-departure phase. This research aims to develop a machine learning model that makes an improved estimation of the Take Off Time.



Daan van der Veldt (BSc)Improving TOBT (Target Off-Block Time) progress by using big data

Target Off-Block Time (TOBT) plays a crucial role in Airport Collaborative Decision Making (A-CDM) as it serves as a key parameter for coordinating and optimizing airport operations. This research focuses on the importance of accurate estimations of TOBT in airport operations management. It highlights the challenges in predicting TOBT due to various factors such as passenger arrival times and ground handling processes. The complexity of these factors necessitates advanced tools capable of dynamically forecasting TOBT to enhance operational efficiency. The research involves a data-driven analysis to understand the primary causes of delays in TOBT. Through this analysis, the aim is to identify patterns and correlations among different variables influencing the accuracy of TOBT estimates. The ultimate goal of the research is to provide insights that could facilitate the development of improved prediction models for TOBT, enabling airports to better plan and manage turnaround processes. Enhanced accuracy in TOBT estimations can lead to smoother flight flow, reduced delays, and improved operational efficiency at airports. This research contributes to further optimizing airport operations and reducing the impact of delays on both airlines and passengers.
Reducing uncertainty for Flow Management of arriving traffic at Schiphol before departure.

Stijn Nolst Trenité (BSc) – Feasibility of transitioning to a full RNP AR operation at Schiphol Airport, considering the benefits and challenges for all stakeholders

RNP AR is a modern navigation variant of RNP, which provides flight crew with navigation capabilities to fly along a more precise flight path during the approach with exceptional accuracy and integrity. RNP AR characteristics provide benefits to stakeholders in terms of operational efficiency, safety, airspace capacity, infrastructure, and environmental impact.

Currently, a small percentage of flights arriving at Schiphol Airport operate according to RNP AR. In the near future, LVNL would like all incoming flights at Schiphol Airport to follow these procedures. However, it is unknown if it is feasible for the stakeholders, LVNL, KLM and Schiphol Airport, to transition to a full RNP AR operation and if all stakeholders are capable of this transition within the proposed timeframe. Therefore, this research provides a thorough analysis of the transition process, including potential benefits and possible challenges which will be faced when transitioning to a full RNP AR operation.


Paolo Stet (BSc)Improving flight efficiency by using FMS data

Due to the nature of KLM being a hub and spoke carrier, a lot of importance is placed on connecting passengers at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport. Because of this, KLM operates using closely placed together bunches of arrivals and departures, such that transfer times are manageable for passengers. With an increasing amount of traffic, this often poses problems as the amount of traffic exceeds the available capacity at the airport, which leads to delays and missed transfers. In prior research, possibilities have been identified to implement inbound priority sequencing (IPS), which takes into account factors such as the potential for missed transfers. Using the priority of individual aircraft, IPS gives in-flight course corrections such that the aircraft are based on priority at the start of the approach. To make this viable, accurate predictions are required for the arrival times at the start of the approach, which have thus far been too inaccurate. To do this, the most accurate source of data for estimated landing times has to be identified, which then has to be used to obtain an estimated time at the start of the approach. For any inbound flight, this estimated time should be calculated early in the flight and be updated at least every hour until it arrives at the approach.



Thijs Scheffers (MSc) – Effects of increased trajectory predictability by ATS Datalink on air traffic management operations in lower airspace

The latest generation of Air-to-Ground Datalink (AGDL), known as Air Traffic Services B2 (ATS B2) is now being introduced into European airspace. As mandated by the European Union (EU), effective from 31 December 2027, aircraft receiving their first airworthiness certification on or after this date must be capable of downlinking and processing ADS-C Extended Projected Profile (EPP) data, as part of ATS B2. An important element of this AGDL implementation is the availability of detailed trajectory information with flight intent. This application leads to improved predictability, as it allows for more accurate predictions of an aircraft’s intentions and destination. Increased predictability enables improvements in key areas, such as safety, flight efficiency, and environmental impact. The aim of this research is to determine the impact of this improved predictability on the design of air traffic control procedures in lower airspace around Schiphol Airport.


Joost Schimmel (BSc)Complexity factors in multiple- and remote tower operations

Amsterdam Airport Schiphol currently operates with three ATC towers, including one fallback tower. The main ATC Tower Centrum (TWR-C) and Tower West (TWR-W) are used in a dual-tower operation for ATC ground handling and runway control. TWR-W handles the air traffic at runway 36L/18R (Polderbaan). LVNL is conducting a study to integrate the existing two control towers into TWR-C; the motivation behind these considerations is to reduce costs and personnel deployment. Additionally, LVNL is exploring the possibility of remotely managing multiple regional airfields from a single tower center. This includes considering the option of multiple remote towers, where two airports could be managed simultaneously from one controller working position.



Iskander Holtkamp (BSc) – Operational requirements for continuous descent operations from 4000 ft

In light of the Airspace Revision Program, the LVNL wants to implement Continuous Decent Operations (CDO) to reduce noise levels and fuel consumption. A first step involves exploring the possibility for a CDO from 4000ft towards 18C, the Zwanenburgbaan. The airspace infrastructure needs to be redesigned in an efficient manner for both the pilot and the air traffic controller. This way CDOs can be flown whilst maximum runway capacity and safe separation is maintained. This research aims to investigate the operational and functional requirements necessary for the successful implementation of such operations.




Sander Poelstra (MSc)Optimizing taxiway maintenance planning using ground control workload limits

Currently, the taxiway maintenance planning at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (AAS) is determined based on technical necessity, and often not based on the impact on ground operations. Including the impact on operations is then done at a later stage, resulting in maintenance projects being pushed through because it is not operationally feasible. An important operational effect that depends on maintenance planning is the impact on the workload of ground controllers. This workload should not become too high due to taxiway maintenance, otherwise safety and ground capacity at the airport will deteriorate. It is therefore essential to study the relationship between the closure of taxiways due to maintenance and the workload of ground controllers in order to test the feasibility of maintenance plans. In this thesis project, this relationship is studied and it is clarified when and for how long taxiways can be closed for maintenance at AAS such that the workload of ground controllers remains within acceptable limits.

Winand Mathoera (MSc)Network effects of changing fuel prices and emission penalties

In recent years, the Dutch government has been shifting towards new methods of limiting the environmental effects of the aviation industry in the Netherlands. These methods range from a new limit on the discrete number of aircraft movements and a shift towards a completely new system that only relies on environmental benchmarks, such as noise nuisance and the emission of harmful gasses. These new policies are bound to have an impact on the connectiveness of Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (AAS), an airport that has established itself as a transfer hub.  The aim of this thesis project is to perform an analysis to understand the effects of the future policy changes on the competitiveness of AAS as a hub. To perform this analysis, a traffic flow model is constructed in order to simulate the aviation network when subjected to the various proposed policy changes. The results will enable AAS to identify the critical tip-off points and to prepare for the predicted effects of the policy changes on the competitiveness of AAS as a hub.


Lars Dijkstra (MSc)Ground handling planning conformance prediction

Predicting whether, and if so, the extent to which, aircraft ground handling is delayed has become increasingly important in the last decade as the aviation industry aims to improve the punctuality of its flights. Timely identification of aircraft ground handling delays allows the operational partners to update their schedules and reallocate their resources. While obtaining an accurate prediction is important, understanding how a prediction comes about is at minimum equally important. After all, this yields insights into the complex and stochastic aircraft ground handling process system, consisting of many sequential and parallel activities such as fuelling, (de)boarding and baggage (un)loading, and allows the operational partners to establish mitigation and/or contingency measures using knowledge extracted from the model. This research delves into the prediction of scheduled ground handling end time adherence at intervals during an aircraft turnaround at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (AAS). To accomplish this, the processes and variables at play in the aircraft ground handling process are first identified and assessed. Subsequently, the aircraft ground handling process is modelled using interpretable machine learning.


Alexandru Măgdălinoiu (MSc)Supporting executive inbound flight sequencing: improving exit constraints and EAT adherence

As the number of flights climbs to and surpasses pre-Covid levels, airspace capacity struggles to keep up with the continuously rising demand. This, alongside decreased flexibility in usage of the current airspace by controllers due to restrictions posed to reduce noise pollution and emissions, leads to the need to optimize flown routes and facilitate the handover between adjacent controlled areas. In the case of Schiphol-inbound flights this is translated into the aircraft sequencing and arrival metering process, which aims to maximize throughput given the limited landing capacity of existing runways. The goal of this research is developing a visual interface which aids Area Control Centre controllers in devising control strategies to follow the Expected Approach Time (EAT) computed by the Arrival Manager (AMAN) more closely and streamline the handover process to the Terminal Manoeuvring Area, while encouraging proactive control choices as an initial step towards Trajectory-Based Operations (TBO) and avoiding increasing the resulting cognitive workload.



Mithun Raghunandan (MSc)Enhancing the success rate of Continuous Descent Operations: the added value of TP performance through Air-Ground Datalink.

The future concept for arrivals at Amsterdam Schiphol, as for many airports, is to progressively implement Continuous Descent Operations (CDO). For this, it is already known that a high degree of predictability of the arrival trajectories is needed. With new Air Ground Datalink (AGDL) technology emerging, specifically ADS-C, these possibilities are becoming within reach. However, it is unclear to which extent the integration of this AGDL provided information will enhance Trajectory Predictor performance. Moreover, the sensitivity of the managed arrival process to the predictability of the trajectories is unclear. Having a better insight in this dependency enables the further design of the technical concept by providing target performance levels. In turn, it also provides direction and input to the business case for equipage by airlines for trajectory sharing as well as ground system trajectory prediction performance. To establish a useful measurement for value added by improved predictability of the success rate, that is, the percentage of CDO’s that can be executed without ATC intervention, is envisioned.


Bob van Dillen (MSc)Supporting Trajectory Based Operations in Aerodrome Control.

To increase airspace capacity and reduce aircraft emissions, the ATM system will move towards Trajectory Based Operations (TBO). Current research efforts in TBO primarily focus on en-route area control and hardly consider how such operations could benefit TWR operations and, conversely, how TWR operations can perhaps improve the TBO environment by better integration. In a TBO environment, trajectory information is shared by aircraft via digital datalinks. Together with the current and predicted wind conditions, this information can be used, amongst others, to enhance departure capacity, different routing to reduce noise impact, reduced dependency of converging arrival and departure runways and outbound traffic segregation techniques. This requires accurate management of the interaction of flight paths in the CTR/TMA. The goal of this research is therefore to develop a support tool for TWR control to maintain separation between departing and arriving traffic streams in a TBO environment.