Auto-Ops / Aircraft Pools

What?

Instead of doing concrete assignments of flights to aircraft, flights are scheduled for a certain type of aircraft. Actual flight assignment then happens automatically whenever flights are booked into the system and those assignments might actually change over time as new requirements arise (delays, technical issues, etc.).

Auto-ops will also automatically cancel flights when it can’t find a good solution, for example when an aircraft breaks down and there simply isn’t a replacement available.

Why?

This is essentially a base feature for a whole range of interesting features that would make the game a whole lot more dynamic while not burdening the player with micromanaging the operations of their airlines.

One benefit of this feature from day 1 would be that one could create a long-range schedule comprised of destinations a single aircraft cannot fly a return trip to in a single day. As long as you have a large enough pool of matching aircraft, auto-ops would pick an available aircraft every day and try to make sure the schedule is executed as planned, all without the player manually having to manage these assignments or having to build a shifted flight plan for several aircraft by hand.

Beyond that, this feature would allow for all sorts of dynamic effects on aircraft operations:

  • Long delays being compensated with a (spare?) aircraft on the pool which takes over the following flights
  • An aircraft breaking down with technical issues is replaced by another one
  • Effects of strikes being handled automatically (still costly, but no manual interaction required)
  • Actual maintenance blocks (A to D checks) scheduled automatically.
  • An aircraft could be taken out of rotation to install a new cabin.

When?

Implementation could start at any time, no technical dependencies.

To add to this, a similar framework could be applied to crew scheduling like it is done in real life. A pool of pilots with certain type ratings at a base, some of whom call out some percentage of the time.

A LCC may choose to have less reserve pilots on base while a full-service carrier may choose to have more.

Good tradeoff mechanic that would make actual use of the reserve pilots.

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“Crew Bases and Rosters” are on my list of things to put on the list :joy:

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I think this would be brilliant. Is the number 1 reason i stop playing the game once i branch into long haul. The micro management is too tedius to carry on playing.

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This mimics more closely real-world airlines. They have a schedule and then assign aircraft to that schedule. This would make it harder in some ways, calculating the aircraft needed to satisfy the schedule without excess aircraft, but it would also elevate it to much closer to the real airline operations

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