Logo Logo

Incentives in Landing Slot Problems, Journal of Economic Theory


We analyze three applied incentive compatibility conditions within a class of queueing problems; a prominent application is reassignment of flights to airport landing slots. Flights are preassigned to landing slots feasible for their arrival times. After airlines report (privately learned) updates about flight times and cancelations, the FAA's objective is to create a new queue that minimizes some measure of delay. We separately consider airlines' incentives to misreport their flights' (i) feasible arrival times, (ii) delay costs, or (iii) cancelations. Our first three results show that any fully efficient rescheduling rule must be manipulable by each of these three methods separately. By weakening efficiency to a form currently achieved by the FAA, we show that one can recover incentive compatibility with respect to (ii) and (iii). This cannot be done with the FAA's current rule, but is achieved with rules based on Deferred Acceptance (DA) algorithms. DA rules need not elicit delay cost information, which is significant in that the FAA's rule also does not do this. We also show that any rule ignoring such information remains manipulable via (i). This model also fills a gap in the matching literature as a one-sided version of the Gale-Shapley College Admissions model, but where only "college" (airline) preferences are relevant. This is a counterpart to the School Choice matching model (Abdulkadiroglu and Sonmez (2003)), which is the one-sided version of College Admissions where only "student" preferences are relevant.




James Schummer, Azar Abizada

Date Published



Schummer, James, and Azar Abizada. 2017. Incentives in Landing Slot Problems. Journal of Economic Theory. 170: 29-55.


Explore leading research and ideas

Find articles, podcast episodes, and videos that spark ideas in lifelong learners, and inspire those looking to advance in their careers.
learn more


Review Courses & Schedules

Access information about specific courses and their schedules by viewing the interactive course scheduler tool.


Discover the path to your goals

Whether you choose our Full-Time, Part-Time or Executive MBA program, you’ll enjoy the same unparalleled education, exceptional faculty and distinctive culture.
learn more