Innovation of the runway system maintenance strategy
Because of the growth of Amsterdam Airport Schiphol and new strict regulations as laid out in the Aldersakkoord, the capacity of the runway system is coming under strain. This has consequences for runway maintenance: there are fewer possibilities for maintenance, while the runways are being used more often. That is why the maintenance department of Schiphol has drafted a research assignment for SIM to develop innovative maintenance concepts. Since June I am working on this challenging project.
When developing these new concepts, it is important to prevent the optimization of only one subsystem (like capacity or noise pollution) of the maintenance strategy. That is why I focus on the complete system and on all stakeholders, within and outside the air traffic industry. Only when the complete system is mapped, the potential of new ideas can be evaluated in a valuable way.
To evaluate this potential I use the Value Operations Methodology. In this method, the first step is identifying the relevant stakeholders and their values and objectives. Hereafter alternatives are generated and evaluated. This is in contrast with the ‘standard procedure’ of decision problems, in which solutions are generated first and only afterwards evaluation criteria are selected.
If all goes well, I will finish my research in early 2012. Schiphol will then have an overview of the complete system including all stakeholders and their values, and innovative maintenance concepts tested against these objectives. For academia, it will result in a new application of the methodology to a real world problem.
At this time I am meeting with a lot of people, both in the Schiphol organization and others. It is pleasant to note that being part of the SIM program opens many doors and makes people enthusiastic to help thinking about new innovations.