AI Success Stories

AA Logo AA: Airport Bay/Stand Allocation

hk airport authority - airport bay/stand allocation

Project Summary:

  • client: Hong Kong Airport Authority
  • application: airport bay/stand allocation
  • AI technology:  business rules, heuristic search, genetic algorithm


Our mission critical application helps the new Hong Kong International Airport operate smoothly and safely 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Designed and built with advanced optimization technologies, our CORBA-compliant multi-tiered client-server application uses artificial intelligence to assign and manage valuable airport resources.

"The entire development and commissioning was accomplished to a high standard taking advantage of the latest IT technology... made possible only by Dr. Chun's professional excellence and commitment to the project."

Alan T.C. Lam - GM (Airfield Operations), HK Airport Authority

Our Client

The new Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) at Chek Lap Kok began operations on 6th July 1998 to replace the aging Kai Tak Airport. HKIA is one of the world's busiest airports in terms of passengers and cargo volumes. Designed to take Hong Kong into the 21st century, it firmly establishes Hong Kong?s position as one of the leading aviation hubs for Asia-Pacific.

Business Needs

The new Hong Kong International Airport has facilities to handle over 35 million passengers and 3 million tones of air cargo annually. Efficient use of these resources is crucial and critical to achieving the required throughput and service commitments of HKIA. The most important resource at the airport is, of course, the aircraft parking stands.

Aircraft stands are allocated daily based on the flight schedule and a set of intricate operational constraints. These constraints ensure airport safety and passenger convenience, and facilitate smooth operations for airlines and handling agents. Given the complexity of the problem, the Airport Authority commissioned City University of Hong Kong and its subsidiary to tackle this mission critical issue.

AI Technology

We designed the Stand Allocation System (SAS) for non-stop 24-hour daily operations. It has been in use in the Airport Control Tower since June 1998. SAS has a multi-tiered client/server architecture and is one of the first deployments of advanced distributed CORBA technology in Hong Kong.

Our AI Scheduling Engine consists for custom designed scheduling/rescheduling algorithms using AI constraint programming technology. The entire system was developed in C++ for performance.

Business Benefits

SAS provides crucial stand management support at the new airport. It automatically generates a daily stand allocation plan based on user-customizable constraints, rules, and parameters. It also performs real-time problem solving to cope with conflicts caused by delays and changes.

It is installed and used in the Airport Control Center, providing planning, real-time management, and reactive scheduling capabilities for stand management. An efficient stand allocation plan can maximize the utilization of stands and thus permit additional flights during peak traffic while maintaining equally high service standards.


  • 1999 Innovative Applications of AI Award
    The American Association for Artificial Intelligence (AAAI) awarded our AI Rostering Engine with a "1999 Innovative Applications of AI Award," in the category of "Deployed Applications." This is a prestigious international award, given to only a few companies each year.

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