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Keywords:

  • fleet availability;
  • flight and maintenance planning;
  • multiobjective mixed integer linear program;
  • military aircraft

Abstract

Every aircraft, military or civilian, must be grounded for maintenance after it has completed a certain number of flight hours since its last maintenance check. In this paper, we address the problem of deciding which available aircraft should fly and for how long, and which grounded aircraft should perform maintenance operations, in a group of aircraft that comprise a combat unit. The objective is to achieve maximum availability of the unit over the planning horizon. We develop a multiobjective optimization model for this problem, and we illustrate its application and solution on a real life instance drawn from the Hellenic Air Force. We also propose two heuristic approaches for solving large scale instances of the problem. We conclude with a discussion that gives insight into the behavior of the model and of the heuristics, based on the analysis of the results obtained.