Measuring, Analyzing and Improving Airline Efficiency

Hello – my name is Mike Durling. I manage the Supervisory Control & Systems Integration Lab at Global Research in Niskayuna, New York.

I lead a team of engineers and scientists who are developing innovative technology to enable growth in GE business units. Currently, my team is developing a tool to measure, analyze and improve airline efficiency through supervisory control and optimization. In this program, the key contributions are aircraft and airspace domain expertise, physics based modeling, algorithm development, definition of efficiency metrics, simulation, discrete event systems, and systems integration in both simulation and real world modes.

The outcome of this program is a working prototype that collects data from an airline enterprise, analyzes the data, calculates metrics, then displays the relevant information and recommends actions for improving performance.

Just a few weeks ago, our team was featured in an article by the Times Union. This article touches on how the work we are doing will save passengers money, airlines fuel and everyone—time. GE Reports also put out a story that provides some more insight into the Required Navigational Performance technology and potential impact, such as an annual saving of almost 13 billion gallons of fuel… and 747 days of delays!

Just last week, we announced that we are working with NASA to identify opportunities within air traffic management that can benefit from cloud computing. Cloud computing should enable us to deal with the large volume of complex data sets associated with Air Traffic Management and facilitate algorithms for collaborative decision making, which will lead to more efficient airline operations. Dr. Liling Ren is the leader of that program. He is a technical pillar in our lab and a well-known thought leader in the air traffic management community.

Check out the video below for some more insight from Liling and myself around this project and let us know if you have any questions. We have several other programs that we are working on in the lab, so stay tuned to the blog for more updates and announcements in the months ahead!

– Mike