Use of Simulation in Airport Planning and Design

by Dana E. Low, (F.ASCE), Part.; Tippetts-Abbett-McCarthy-Stratton, New York, NY,

Serial Information: Transportation Engineering Journal of ASCE, 1974, Vol. 100, Issue 4, Pg. 985-996

Document Type: Journal Paper


Time-oriented simulation is a potentially valuable tool for planning and designing airports—airfields, terminals, and access systems—but it is susceptible to misuse. The normal tendency is to strive for too comprehensive a model. Simulation is not in itself an optimization tool; models are used to test design concepts relating to size, location, interaction, and operation of the various elements that make up an airport. About one-third of the total time and budget for simulation modeling should be reserved for applying the model and analyzing its statistical output under a range of trial loading conditions, alternative configurations, and various assumed operational rules. Airfield simulation modeling can be very useful at the master plan stage, but terminal and ground access system modeling is often best left to the preliminary design stage. Model development process must start early enough to achieve operational status before basic design decisions have to be made.

Subject Headings: Simulation models | Airports and airfields | Optimization models | Decision support systems | Airport terminals | Conceptual design | Budgets | Statistics

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