Method for Designing Airport Terminal Concepts

by John P. Braaksma, (A.M.ASCE), Asst. Prof.; Dept. of Civ. Engrg., Carleton Univ., Ottawa, Ontario, Canada,
John H. Shortreed, Assoc. Prof.; Dept. of Civ. Engrg., Univ. of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada,

Serial Information: Transportation Engineering Journal of ASCE, 1975, Vol. 101, Issue 2, Pg. 321-355

Document Type: Journal Paper


Much design effort in airport planning is expended on terminal concept development. Such a method has been developed and is introduced. It considers the terminal as a system of basic facilities that house the activities and links that represent the passenger traffic flow lines. The method uses heuristic programming to achieve an optimum design. The method is composed of three interacting algorithms: (1) the facility sizing algorithm; (2) the flight assignment algorithm; and (3) the facility layout algorithm. The output consists of a strategy for flight assignment, a layout showing the configuration of gate positions at the apron level, and a plan of terminal elements at three different building levels. The output is preliminary and should be taken as a benchmark for further concept development and design. Several hypothetical design problems were tested successfully.

Subject Headings: Algorithms | Conceptual design | Airport terminals | Traffic flow | Flight | Residential buildings | Passengers | Computer programming

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