Airports are dynamic environments that have to deal with increasing capacity demands, stricter safety requirements and a continuing focus on improving the overall passenger experience. This demand seems to raise challenges in both the design and operational phase at airport terminals.
Airport designers and planners have to cope with long-term capacity demands, while changes in security standards, aircraft types and technological developments require flexibility. Overall, the airport operations face challenges such as frequent changes to flight schedules, disruptions and staffing issues, which need to be solved to prevent long waiting times or even missed flights. Resulting in achieving the ambition to increase overall customer satisfaction.
In order to prepare for the future: analyzing and planning the airport terminal facilities at strategic, tactical and operational level, seems to be the key. Simulation will be an important tool to support achieving these goals!
The INCONTROL airport terminal simulation software is based on the simulation software Enterprise Dynamics® and Pedestrian Dynamics®. Simulation models are used to continuously evaluate and improve the performance of environments, test strategies, identifying bottlenecks an support decision making about solutions.
The INCONTROL software suite offers solutions for challenges in capacity and operational management in the following application areas:
- Passenger terminals
- Baggage handling systems
- Terminal security
The above mentioned topics cover the passenger movements from arrival at the airport, to the gate and exits, baggage flows from drop-off or transfer unloading to make-up positions and all related security processes for hold-, cabin baggage and the passenger. The interdependencies amongst the mentioned issues provide interesting results.
The INCONTROL simulation software is user-friendly, allowing several stakeholders to easily assemble various interfaces, creating a total airport simulation platform, that is second to none.
Key benefits of the INCONTROL Suite:
- Save time and money by evaluating and optimizing the safety and performance of the airport terminal design at strategic and tactical level
- Provide capacity analyses and insight into the entire terminal infrastructure; passenger and baggage flows, waiting times, resources, staff utilization and potential bottlenecks;
- Determine required operational staffing schedules;
Support the development of maintenance and contingency plans of evacuation scenarios;
- Ability to present the capacity utilization of the airport terminal in attractive 2D and 3D visualization to the stakeholders;
The INCONTROL software is successfully applied by:
- Airport architects, planners and engineers
- Airport capacity managers
- Airport Logistics and System engineers
Security Process Simulation
Airports make every effort to improve the experience and safety of passengers. Integration and simplification of processes, implementing new (self-service) technology and ever more off-airport actions are applied to strive for increasing overall passenger satisfaction.
At the same time, threats and incidents have forced governments and the international aviation community to demand ever increasing requirements on security systems and safety procedures. Airports invest in costly new hardware and equipment for security filters. Screening equipment for hold- and cabin baggage is becoming more sophisticated and complies with the new Explosive Detection System and Explosive Trace Detection standards; passenger scanners with advanced imaging technology are introduced. Complete new security checkpoints arise. Is this advanced, extensive screening conflicting with the airport’s objective of better service and improved passenger experience? Not necessarily: It is often used to redesign the security system, the infrastructure and the operational procedures in such manner that the efficiency of using these expensive systems increases, while the passengers experience a faster and more convenient security check. Major changes in screening concepts and operational procedures are invented; developments such as biometrics and risk assessment are introduced to improve identification, traceability and operating procedures. All of this in order to reduce the risk of safety incidents in aviation. Simulation delivers a valuable contribution to this objective.
Developing new, smart layouts and screening concepts requires a thorough analysis of the processes and infrastructure to be able to realize the impact and make the correct decisions. At operational level the allocation of passengers and baggage, making efficient duty-rosters for security staff are very important factors for an optimal passenger experience.
The INCONTROL simulation software Pedestrian Dynamics® and Enterprise Dynamics® provide THE solution for testing and improving security in airport terminals. Simulating passenger and baggage flows in complex environments is used to evaluate and improve the safety and performance, to identify potential bottlenecks and support solutions. The INCONTROL simulation software is user-friendly, allowing several stakeholders to easily assemble various interfaces, creating a platform to test the terminal security and safety, that is second to none. Applying simulation software during the design and operational phase of an airport offers many benefits:
- Save time and money by evaluating and optimizing the layout and performance of the security checkpoints during the design phase;
- Gain insight into the complex interaction between passenger flows, process and waiting times, reject rates and service levels;
- Determine required staff schedules and reduce operational costs;
- Evaluate the consequences of introducing new types of equipment and new procedures;
- Present the infrastructure in a 2D and 3D visualization to share the insights with all stakeholders;
A modified security solution should not only guarantee safety, but also be efficient, flexible, reliable, robust and cost-effective. The system must be able to deal with variables such as eg. different passenger- and baggage profiles, peak and off-peak periods or foresee changes in legislation. The degrees of freedom in the solutions include alternative detection methods, dimensioning of screening facilities, Centralized Image Processing rooms, automation, staff allocation and many more. These result in a large number of scenarios that can be evaluated using simulation models. Simulation enables evaluation of the performance of existing and imaginary systems under any condition. In this way you can distinguish the promising solutions, which can be further developed and tested.
Passenger Flow Simulation
In an airport terminal everything should be perfectly tuned in order to provide passengers an enjoyable time. Traveling by plane should be a pleasant experience, so numerous waiting lines and overcrowded areas must be avoided. The above mentioned is a challenging and complex task for airport operators as they have to deal with many uncertainties such as differentiations in arrival- and departure times and fluctuations in passenger numbers. Still, all these ten thousands of passengers per day have to use the same facilities and follow the same safety procedures within a short time. Therefore it is important to use the available infrastructure of the airport in the most efficient way.
A thorough analysis of passenger forecasts, operational processes and infrastructures are required to make optimal allocations of resources for departures, arrivals and create efficient duty-rosters for airport staff. Achieving all of these objectives can be accomplished through the use of simulation. Designers and architects also face major challenges when developing the infrastructures of airport terminals. Departure halls, lounges, corridors and gate areas should provide sufficient capacity and must be positioned logically. In addition, the infrastructure must meet all safety requirements. Trends like creating Smart Airports and new technologies set new demands and create new opportunities.
The INCONTROL simulation software Pedestrian Dynamics® is THE solution for understanding and improving dynamic passenger environments. By continuously simulating passenger flows in complex infrastructures, the evaluation and improvement of the safety and performance of the environment contribute positively to the perception of the passenger. The INCONTROL simulation software is user-friendly, allowing several stakeholders to easily assemble various interface, creating a platform simulating the passenger flows, that is second to none. Applying simulation software during the design and operational phase of an airport offers many benefits:
- Save time and money by evaluating and optimizing the safety and performance of the terminal during the design phase;
- Gain insight into the complete infrastructure, passenger flows, waiting times, process times and potential bottlenecks to improve the performance;
- Provide basis for staff schedules based on expected arrival times, pedestrian flows and process times;
- Support the development of evacuation and contingency plans;
- Optimize commercial attractive areas on the airport, based on pedestrian flows.
- Present the infrastructure of the airport in a 2D and 3D visualization to share the insights with your stakeholders;
Simulating passenger flows gains ground. Important reasons are the increasing attention for safety and security, the implementation of new technologies for identification and self-service facilities. With the use of Pedestrian Dynamics®, INCONTROL supports in finding the best solutions. Simulation provides answers to complex issues related to capacity management and determining the optimal locations for commercial facilities at airports. Many different organizations such as airports, architects, authorities and emergency services are already using Pedestrian Dynamics® simulation software to support their mission.
Baggage Handling Simulation
Airports, airlines and passengers all share the opinion that the rate of missing checked luggage should be zero. Mishandled bags are expensive for airlines, airports and above all aggravating for passengers. Nevertheless, it happens frequently that baggage is either too late for (un)loading in the airplane resulting in delayed pick-ups for the customers. Either way, all the above does not contribute to an increasing NPS.
The ever-shorter available handling times – a result of late check-in at self-service desks and shorter transfer connections – make it increasingly harder to deliver the baggage in-time. At the same time, the international authorities impose stricter screening requirements to keep flying safe. Explosive Detection Systems and Explosive Trace Detection equipment restrict the rapid dispatching of the baggage.
The design of a baggage handling system sets the transport times, the minimal originating times and connecting times. New technologies and advanced automation, such as Destination Coded Vehicles and automated storage buffers, reduce transport times and create new opportunities. In order to estimate the added value of such an investment, a clear understanding of the consequences is required. The only way to validate these KPI’s is by executing various simulations.
While using a baggage system, the optimal results are largely dependent on the differentiation in arrival time of bags. A thorough analysis of the operational processes and infrastructure is required to get proper understanding of the flexibility in the system and the effects of changes in strategies. Optimal allocations of baggage insertion points and baggage make-up positions can result in significantly improved results.
The INCONTROL simulation software Enterprise Dynamics® is THE solution for understanding and improving complex and dynamic baggage systems. Simulation models are used to continuously evaluate and improve the performance of environments, test strategies, identifying bottlenecks and support decision making about solutions. The INCONTROL Simulation software is user-friendly, allowing several stakeholders to easily assemble various interfaces, creating a platform for the baggage handling system, that is second to none.
Applying simulation software has many benefits during the design and operations of the Baggage Handling System:
- Save time and money by evaluating and optimizing the design of your Baggage Handling System during the design stage;
- Gain insight into the performance of the baggage infrastructure, occupation of buffers, transport times, potential bottlenecks, and mishandled bag rates.
- Test alternative strategies or modifications to improve the performance;
- Quantify the needs for investments in new equipment
- Increase redundancy and support the development of maintenance and contingency plans;
- Present the infrastructure of the airport in a 2D and 3D visualization to share the insights with your stakeholders;
Simulation for baggage handling systems is applied by engineers, BHS suppliers, airports and baggage handling companies. Each stakeholder has individual intentions and approaches, yet, the answers provided by simulating with Enterprise Dynamics® all deal with capacity management, finding answers to solve bottlenecks in these complex environments and ultimately increasing overall satisfaction for the customer.