Increasing demands on a highly efficient air traffic management system go hand in hand with increasing requirements for predicting the aircraft’s future position. In this context, the airport collaborative decision-making framework provides a standardized approach to improve airport performance by defining operationally important milestones along the aircraft trajectory. In particular, the aircraft landing time is an important milestone, significantly impacting the utilization of limited runway capacities. We compare different machine learning methods to predict the landing time based on broadcast surveillance data of arrival flights at Zurich Airport. Thus, we consider different time horizons (look ahead times) for arrival flights to predict additional sub-milestones for n-hours-out timestamps. The features are extracted from both surveillance data and weather information. Flights are clustered and analyzed using feedforward neural networks and decision tree methods, such as random forests and gradient boosting machines, compared with cross-validation error. The prediction of landing time from entry points with a radius of 45, 100, 150, 200, and 250 nautical miles can attain an MAE and RMSE within 5 min on the test set. As the radius increases, the prediction error will also increase. Our predicted landing times will contribute to appropriate airport performance management.
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