Good airport planning and design often require computerized analyses of complicated flows and queues within the airport terminal complex (i.e., curbside to gate). The computer models used for these analyses are either based on simple procedures using widely available spreadsheets (hereinafter referred to as spreadsheet models) or sophisticated, discrete event models that often include animated outputs (hereinafter referred to as discrete event models). The discrete event models are usually created on proprietary software. Although some situations require the use of discrete event models, often good preliminary and, in some cases, final answers to many terminal planning and design issues can be obtained using spreadsheet models.
Development of user-friendly spreadsheet models to analyze common issues related to airport terminal planning and design would benefit employees of airport operators by providing them with tools they can immediately use, without having to “reinvent the wheel” as they confront issues that are new to them but have been solved elsewhere.
In addition, despite widespread use of computers, the profession has not developed a widely available compendium of computer-based models to advance the capability of airport staff and airport planners in general.
The objectives of this research were to (1) develop a user–friendly spreadsheet model (or models), with an accompanying manual, to analyze issues common to airport passenger terminal planning and design and (2) produce a compendium that identifies the types, scopes, and availability of spreadsheet and discrete event models that can be used by airport operators for airport passenger terminal planning and design. The prime users of this project’s products are intended to be employees of airport operators who are involved in terminal planning and design.