Planning level decision support for the selection of robust configurations of airport passenger buildings
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Flight Transportation Laboratory
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Prevalent in the current practice of airport design is the view of the airport as a "terminal", or beginning and ending point only of a traveler's journey. Such a perspective wrongly encourages the belief that airport performance can be measured with only a limited number of criteria over a narrow range of conditions. This dissertation adopts the view that performance should be considered in broad range, multiple criteria terms, in order to balance the (often conflicting) objectives of the different users of an airport's services. To accomplish this goal, we develop a series of prototype Passenger Building Configuration Evaluator (PBCE) tools, to help airport planners during the selection of an initial configuration concept. To study objectively the differences among dissimilar concepts, we identify a general airport configuration nomenclature and use it to represent several different concepts geometrically. From these characterizations, we obtain the absolute distances between any two points within the airport. Based on assumptions regarding the distribution of passengers, we then estimate the transition probabilities of traveling between any of these points. Using the PBCE tools and well-known results of geometrical probability, we show how we can estimate the potential performance of any given configuration and geometry. Using a representation of data called a "performance profile", we demonstrate how planners can select an initial configuration based on robustness, or performance over a broad range. Specifically, we illustrate the selection process faced with uncertainty in such parameters as the level and type of transfer traffic, industry structure, and size. Our analyses suggest that configurations most appropriate for minimizing expected walking distances may not be the most appropriate for minimizing the expected taxi distances (and required number of turns) for aircraft. We also address the issue of passenger congestion, both in pedestrian walkways and waiting areas. Included in our analysis is a discussion of the IATA level of service standards, and a survey of how current practitioners use these standards during the planning process. Finally, we show how simple, "back-of-the-envelope" type calculations can be used to obtain congestion estimates consistent with ones obtained from more detailed, data intensive methods.
Cover titleMay 1994Also issued as an Ph.D. thesis, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Civil and Environmental Engineering, 1995Includes bibliographical references (p. 252-255)
Cambridge, Mass. : MIT, Dept. of Aeronautics & Astronautics, Flight Transportation Laboratory, 
FTL report (Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Flight Transportation Laboratory) ; R94-6