When a system reaches a certain level of complexity, analytical calculations may not be efficient, sufficient or even possible anymore. Simulation allows the analysis of complex systems with many input parameters, processes and interdependencies.
Static analytical formulas cannot reflect the dynamics and interrelationships of such a complex system.
Simulation can create a model that includes dynamic interrelationship and feedback effects.
By varying input parameters, “what-if” scenarios can be investigated easily.
For the point of view of planning:
- Improved understanding.
- Enhanced planning reliability.
- Reduced risk in decision-making.
- Reduced need for real-life testing.
- Appropriate phasing.
For the point of view of design:
- Optimisation of infrastructure capacity.
- Balance of overall airfield capacity.
- Early detection of planning mistakes.
- Identification of bottlenecks.
- Improved safety.
For the point of view of operations:
- More efficient operations.
- Implementation of tested procedures.
- Reduction in costly “trial and error” approach.
- Optimisation of the allocation of resources.
- Testing of different scenarios in a short time window.
For this, we use the AirTOp ground module to model airside ground traffic. Realistic, detailed models of the airport ground layout can be built, supporting airport design or air traffic simulation.
Linking ATFCM, ATC, airport and airline data, aircraft ground movements are precisely modelled and analysed in AirTOp.
Definition of objective
Input collected data
- Flight schedule.
- Infrastructure layout.
- Runway operations
- Airspace rules.
- Runway crossing.
- Taxiway routes.
- Push / pull procedures.
- Parking/gate allocation rules.
- De-icing procedures.
- Process times and throughput rates.
- Operational settings.
- Aircraft characteristics.
- Interviews with stakeholders.
Baseline model calibration
- Set up of the layout of the airport facility.
- Implementation of operational rules.
- Specification of characteristics of flow objects.
- Generation of flow objects from the flight schedule.
- Modelling of flow and process logic and their interdependencies.
- Verify the model’s logic has been implemented correctly.
- Compare key simulation model results to data from actual operations.
- According with the design requirements.
The simulation of “what-if” experiments can start. This might comprise:
- Layout changes.
- Changes in traffic demand (using other flight schedules).
- Improvement of capacity by implementing more facilities or improved operational procedures/ equipment.
- Allocation of flights or airlines to other gate areas.
- Changes in operational conditions (e.g., runway and/or taxiway usage).
Interpretation of results
- Cross-checking to validate results and ensure they are realistic.
- Extracting numbers for waiting times, queue lengths, occupation levels, etc.
- Interpretation of the numeric results and obtaining of qualitative statements and recommendations.
Report & recommendations
- AIRSPACE – Flight procedures (SIDs, STARs, RNAV-based, etc.). Identification and evaluation of potential improvements in airspace capacity.
- AIRFIELD – Assessment of the need for and location of new infrastructures such as RETs, holding bays, connecting taxiways, etc. with the aim of achieving improvements in capacity and elimination of hotspots.
- APRON – Evaluation of different configurations and redistribution of stands, ground procedures, taxiing in and out sequences, parking restrictions, etc. The software provides a Gantt chart covering the use of the stands, which allows the determination of critical parameters like average delays, push-back times, hourly capacity, etc.
- GROUND FUEL BURNED AND EMISSIONS of aircraft engines and APUs can be accurately modelled with the aim of reducing levels.