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167530-1 Report Abstract

Impact of New Large Aircraft on Passenger Flows at International Airport Terminals

Chiung-Yu Chiu and C. Michael Walton, University of Texas at Austin, July 2003, 201 pp. (167530-1)

The development of New Large Aircraft (NLA) has been a topic of considerable interest and speculation. The first generation of the NLA with 555-seat capacity will presumably be entering into commercial service by 2006. Due to the greater dimensions of the NLA and more simultaneous arriving passengers, there will be substantial impacts on existing airports after its launch. Terminal operations, particularly individual passenger processing facilities, will be one of the significantly affected components of the entire airport system. The analysis of these impacts on individual terminal facilities, which will be strongly influenced, have been lacking because of the uncertain characteristics of NLA operations. Therefore, a method that is capable of investigating the impact of the NLA under such uncertainty is needed for airport operators to determine the potential effects and to accommodate the possible required changes in terminal facilities.

This report proposes an integrated simulation method to investigate the potential impacts on the operation performance of primary processing facilities. The method utilizes scenario analysis in a before and after context, and attempts to analyze the impacts under current uncertainty regarding the operating characteristics of the NLA and its market share. This study focuses on analyzing the impacts on international arriving passengers. The arriving passenger flow is modeled as a queuing network system in this study, comprised of a series of passenger processing facilities. The derivation of arrival and service probability distributions in the simulation model are based on a survey of international airports and by observational data collected at selected international terminals. The simulation model can be used to examine the potential bottlenecks in the arriving passenger flow and to evaluate the operational strategies. Major impacts at the baggage claim system are detected in the simulation model, and the related strategies of increasing baggage processing capacity are thus evaluated. The results obtained from impact analyses and the evaluation of operational strategies may assist airport operators first in investigating the compatibility of existing terminal processing facilities with the introduction of the NLA, and ultimately in preparing the future development plan.

Keywords: New Large Aircraft, NLA, Airport, Passenger Flow, Terminal, Passenger Terminal System, Passenger Volume

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