Aircraft maintenance facility location planning

Helman I. Stern, Robert M. Saltzman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This investigation combines the aircraft maintenance routing problem (AMRP) with the aircraft maintenance facility location problem as they are interdependent. Unlike the classical fixed charge location model, aircraft maintenance facility location is not based on static customer demands but on how aircraft move around the airline network while undergoing periodic maintenance checks. Two important factors relevant to this analysis are: (a) aircraft overnight stays at maintenance facilities and airports away from their home bases and (b) the location and cost of maintenance facility construction. There are two possible scenarios concerning the status of maintenance facilities. The first is a tabula rasa case – for a start-up airline with no existing maintenance facilities (AMFLP). The second is an operating airline case with prepositioned maintenance facilities, which we denote as a maintenance facility location update problem (AMFUP). We formulate both as binary integer multicommodity flow problems whose aim is to find the cost-minimizing number, size, and location of the maintenance facilities. Experiments with flight schedules from two regional airlines indicate that total annualized costs are convex in the number of maintenance airports. Though new facility costs tend to dominate, costs associated with noncyclic routes become increasingly important as the number of maintenance airports decreases. Key contributions of this paper are that it (a) demonstrates the superiority of the integration of the aircraft maintenance routing and aircraft maintenance facility location problems, (b) provides a formulation and solution methodology dealing with this significant but under-researched problem, and (c) presents extensive computational experiments, cost and sensitivity analyses for two real life aircraft flight schedules.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100116
JournalEURO Journal on Transportation and Logistics
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2023


  • Aircraft maintenance
  • Aircraft maintenance routing
  • Facility location
  • Integer programming
  • Maintenance costs
  • Multicommodity flow problem
  • Overnight stay costs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Transportation
  • Management Science and Operations Research


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