Integrating LP Multi Criteria Optimisation and Preference Modelling

How could the authorities come to their erroneous point-of-view on the future of 'Valkenburg'? Are politicians so dumb and ignorant that they cannot follow the reasoning given in Section 13.1? That would be too simple an explanation. More plausible is that an airbase with less than 10000 flight movements per year is perceived as a luxury by powerful political pressure groups, and in particular by Leiden's municipality. The economics of the airbase, determined by its occupancy, have to be taken into account. Straightforward preference modelling cannot do this. In order to assess the optimum occupancy, expressed in flight movements per year, we have to combine Preference Modelling with LP Multi Criteria Optimisation.

The fixed cost of the airbase is in the order of € 13 million per year. The variable cost per flight movement (each flight entails two flight movements: a take-off and a landing) can be estimated to be € 2 000 for military flights and € 1000 for (semi-)civil flights. The number of military flights is about 5000 per year, the remainder being (semi-)civil flights. With these estimates, the average flying cost per flight movement becomes as presented in Figure 14.1. The conclusion is that the economics of the airbase improve dramatically if its occupancy can be increased above the current level of about 10 000 flight movements per year. This level is extremely low compared to the two other airports in the region - Amsterdam airport 'Schiphol' and Rotterdam airport 'Zestienhoven' - which, respectively, process about 450 000 and 120 000 flight movements each year. Clearly, there is still considerable room for improving the economics of the airbase by attracting more civil use of it.

The preference of the surrounding municipalities for maintaining the air-

Figure 14.1 Average flying cost per flight movement as a function of occupancy of the airbase

base, however, will decrease with increasing occupancy and this may affect the order of preference of the alternatives of Table 13.5. So the question we have to answer is: To what extent can the occupancy of the airbase be increased without affecting the position of maintaining the airbase as the most preferable option? To this end, an LP optimisation program was written which integrates Open Design Multi Criteria Optimisation and Preference Modelling with the allowance described below for a decision variable (number of flight movements) dependent preference (for nature).

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