Airport terminals - optimum configurations and gate position requirement

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Passenger walking distance is a major consideration in determining the geometry of an airport terminal configuration. The number of aircraft gate positions and the expected passenger mix are the significant elements to be considered in planning new terminal buildings. Two different methods: 1) level of service method, 2) minimum cost method, are reported to determine the gate position requirement. The level of service method is used to calculate the number of gate positions that are required to provide a given level of reliability. The randomness of the relevant parameters; aircraft arrival rate at the gate positions, gate occupancy time and the aircraft separation time at gates, is taken into account in the analysis. The gate requirement at Calgary International Airport is analyzed for common and preferential gate use policies. In the minimum cost method, an optimum number of gate positions that will minimize the sum of the cost of gat s and the cost of delay to aircraft is obtained. An approximate procedure to determine the deterministic delay to aircraft, based on the information regarding the peaking of the aircraft arrival rate and the number of peaks per day is presented. Closed-form solutions are obtained for the cases of one peak and several identical non- overlapping peaks respectively. The optimum number of gates required for the Calgary International Airport, based on a common gate use policy, is reported. Given the size of a terminal in terms of the number of aircraft gates, an analytical expression is obtained for the mean passenger walking distance based on: the fraction of arriving, departing and transferring (hub and non-hub) passengers; gate spacing; spacing requirement for aircraft maneuvering; and the terminal block dimensions. Commonly used configurations of pier, satellite and pier-satellite terminals are considered for the analysis. It is assumed that all aircraft parking positions are capable of handling any type of aircraft and arriving, departing and non-hub transferring passengers are equally distributed among all the gate positions. Two groups of hub transfers are defined to accommodate different levels of hub and spoke operations. A continuum approximation is used to model passenger walking within the piers or the satellites. Walking distance between the piers or the satellites are modeled using discrete methods. The optimum geometry in terms of the number of piers or satellites and their sizes, is obtained by minimizing the mean walking distance for all the passengers. When there is no closed-form solution for the optimum number of piers or satellites, lower and upper bounds of the optimum number of piers or satellites is obtained so that the optimum geometry can be obtained using numerical methods. The optimum number of piers or satellites is proportional to the square root of the total number of gates for some of the configurations. The probability distribution of the walking distance of a passenger is generated by simulation. Given an acceptable maximum walking distance, several statistical parameters that are suitable to choose the best configuration from among several optimum geometries are suggested. A numerical example to illustrate the selection of the best terminal geometry for the LaGuardia main terminal, Atlanta Hartsfield terminal and for a hypothetical terminal is resented. Examples to illustrate the effect of people mover systems on walking distance and the use of the suggested technique for a terminal expansion situation are also given.
Bibliography: p. 279-282.
Bandara, J. M. (1990). Airport terminals - optimum configurations and gate position requirement (Doctoral thesis, University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada). Retrieved from doi:10.11575/PRISM/21067