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There can be no doubt that aviation has grown considerably since the 1990s. As a result, airports have had to undergo their own growth process in order to expand their facilities, or in some cases even be replaced by others of greater capacity.
However, an airport cannot be modified or replaced overnight. First you have to predict how the increase in air traffic or apron operations will affect different infrastructures. A wide variety of alternatives should always be considered in order to be sure of eventually choosing the best option. What’s more, cost estimates for projects of this size (and any potential variations) must be as precise as possible, as they clearly involve significant budgets.
Until relatively recently, simulating all the different possibilities was a matter of large teams of experts investing a lot of time and work. This often required carrying out simulations at the airport itself, with its specific variables, which impacted on the normal operation of the facilities.
Nowadays, airport simulation is done by computer, and includes any real-world process that may be involved in airport operations. Simulations let you analyse and experiment with airport processes in a virtual environment, reducing the time and cost associated with testing in the real world.
Runways, taxiways, boarding gates, check-in desks, security services, baggage systems and hundreds of other variables can be properly organised and analysed within a simulation model. The optimal way of maximising airport resource use can thus be determined efficiently, quickly and without risk, while maintaining the best possible level of service at the airport in question.
Simulation provides a quick and efficient means of adjusting parameters and re-simulating, saving valuable time and speeding up results. All these different aspects of airport simulation have been summarised in this interesting infographic.