Current students

Max Aalberse (MSc)Optimizing the distribution of aircraft over the IAF

Around Schiphol and many other airports the amount of movements allowed is constrained due to the considerable noise pollution from aircraft. For a large part the noise pollution is created by arriving aircraft that are in between the IAF and the RWY. During this period the aircraft are in so called transition. These transition routes are usually already optimized to reduce the noise disturbance to surrounding residents, but due to the positioning of the runways this is not always possible. A different distribution of the aircraft over the IAF could result in less noise disturbance for surrounding residents, but would also increase flight times and fuel usage and therefore an increase in other emissions such as CO2. The goal of this research is to create a parameterized model that optimally distributes the aircraft over the IAF based on a quantitative trade-off between noise disturbance and CO2 emissions. Resulting in a model that is potentially able to reduce noise disturbance around airports while keeping the increase in environmental impact at a minimum.


Eneko Rodríguez (MSc) – Investigating the effects of Flexible Use of Airspace availability and plannability on fuel efficiency

All military airspace in the Amsterdam Flight Information Region (FIR) falls under the concept of Flexible Use of Airspace (FUA), which no longer considers airspace as purely ‘civil’ or ‘military’ but rather as a continuum to be allocated temporarily according to user requirements. The complexity of FUA lies in the challenge to harmonize the airspace usage according to these requirements, which largely contradict one another. On the one hand, the military user benefits from using the airspace flexibly, as the effectiveness of their missions and exercises depend on the availability of weather and equipment conditions. On the other hand, the civil users benefit from a high plannability to efficiently execute their operations. By modeling the fuel consumption of civil traffic, the effects of availability and plannability of the FUA in Amsterdam FIR can be computed. While FUA availability determines the route followed by a flight, FUA plannability determines how early the true trajectory is known. Announcing the FUA usage earlier results in avoiding to carry a surplus fuel, which increases the weight and thus fuel burnt of the aircraft. By understanding these effects, new guidelines of FUA usage and plannability may be proposed in the context of the ongoing Dutch Airspace Redesign Programme.


Stijn van Selling (MSc)Supporting Time-Based Separation and Merging in Approach Control.

Aviation as a whole is expected to grow, therefore adjustments to the current air traffic management system will need to be made. Part of these adjustments is the switch from distance-based separation to time-based separation. This will allow the airport capacity to increase when strong headwinds are present on the active runway. An increase in runway capacity will also result in less holding time required as more aircraft can land in the same amount of time, hence saving fuel and thus making for a more environment friendly operation. In order to facilitate time-based separation, the air traffic controller will need assistance in terms of decision support tools as time-based separation is not easily visualised on a 2D map. This research will thus try to design, implement and test such a decision support tool in order to support time-based separation in approach control.


Daan Snijders (MSc)Effects on departure capacity of TOBT uncertainty.

The assertion and updating of the Target Off-Block Time, also known as TOBT, during the handling process of aircraft affects the capacity of an airport where airport collaborative decision making (A-CDM) is used, such as at Schiphol. The research question concerns an analysis that shows the effect of both how different parties deal with the TOBT proposition and updating and the influence of information sharing on Schiphol’s supply. The assignment includes a data analysis and the challenge of creating a model to show the effect on the supply of Schiphol.



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.


Zhiran Dai (BSc)Impact of noise to the published departure and arrival routes during the night operations for postal codes area.

The impact of the aviation industry on the surrounding region develops daily. Amsterdam Airport Schiphol is not only the gateway that connects the Netherlands to the rest of the world it also creates value for society and for the economy. Within the cornerstone themes: Quality of life, Quality of Network and Quality of Service, this research focusses on improving information towards communities on aircraft noise forecast. With the purpose of providing the information required to inform/forecast communities about (un)expected’ runway use. This research aims to develop connections between noise nuisance of runway use to departure and arrival routes during the night operations and hence to the forecasted municipalities that are hindered. Based on runway night operations with improving the decision-making model of runway combination, it results in a model that has potential to better inform/forecast noise disturbance to the municipalities within the Notifly Controlled Area.


Yaman Al Haqash (BSc) Preparing for an optimal day of operation – 7 days ahead

Amsterdam Airport Schiphol has become one of the busiest airports in Europe the last couple of years, with the traffic demand increased up to half a million movements per year. This increase has affected the overall capacity of the airport, which led to an increase in the workload. Schiphol Airport has integrated and implemented the Airport Operations Plan (AOP) to improve the traffic demand predictions in order to increase the carrying capacity and improve the airport operations. The Capacity Management and Analytics department (CMA) provides Air Traffic Control The Netherlands (LVNL) with air traffic information for the D-1 operational plan and creates the D-30/D-180 traffic prediction. The predictions support LVNL, RSG and other stakeholders, in order to improve the predictions accuracy. This research study aims to prepare for an optimal day of operation – 7 days ahead. This outlook will be developed and automated during this research.


Wesley Vork (BSc) Develop sequential steps towards a Multi Airport System (MAS)

Dutch airports have grown significantly over the years. This growth is occurring almost autonomously. No mechanisms have been put in place to strategically balance this growth between Dutch airports, routes, or airspace. Without major reforms, the maximum capacity of the airspace will soon be reached. The relationship between EHLE, EHEH, EHRD and EHAM is under scrutiny. With autonomous growth and without mitigating measures, this will lead to the first airspace bottlenecks in 2023 and contiguous bottlenecks in 2035. By examining how air traffic can be better handled through joint air traffic management, the capacity bottlenecks can be addressed. By conducting a thorough research on the MAS, it will become clear what problem the MAS solves and how this system can be used to solve the capacity bottlenecks.


Thomas Vermeulen (MSc) Evaluation and assessment of the performance of the KNMI Schiphol Kansverwachting (SKV) for Mainport Schiphol with respect to wind direction and wind gusts

Accurate weather forecasts are crucial information to regulate the operations at Schiphol Airport. Sudden changes in weather conditions need to be communicated in a fast and efficient way to maintain the safety and efficiency for flight operations. KNMI provides a probabilistic weather forecast, called the Schiphol Kansverwachting (SKV), which is produced using output of numerical weather prediction models in combination with the latest observations and several statistical post-processing tools. In particular information on the wind direction and the wind gusts is highly important to support air traffic control. Relatively large errors could lead to restrictions which were in the end not needed or it could lead to restrictions which were issued too late. This research will evaluate the performance of the SKV of wind direction and wind gusts for three different weather models: HIRLAM, HARMONIE and ECMWF. Quantitative information on the forecasting errors will be identified, but also suggestions for possible improvements on the weather forecasts will be part of the result of this study.


Stijn Brunia (MSc)Predicting controller workload within individual ground control sectors.

At Schiphol airport all ground traffic is handled by ground controllers, who are all working on the traffic within a specific geographical sector. There are four main sectors, but one controller can also handle multiple different sectors. This means that the number of active controller will fluctuate during the day. There is however little insight in what the workload of a specific sector will be within the nearby future. Next to this there is also little insight in how the workload of the Schiphol ground controllers effects the capacity of the taxi system as a whole. Since the taxi system capacity has a large influence on the capacity for Schiphol as a whole, more insight within the parameter of ground controller workload could be of significant use, as it can be used in deciding on what number of controller will need to be active.  This research will try to create a tool in which the upcoming workload can be estimated using the planned operational data.