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Walking distance minimization for airport terminal configurations

  • Bandara, S.
  • Wirasinghe, S. C.
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    Passenger walking distance is a major consideration in determining the configuration of an airport terminal. Given the size of a terminal in terms of the number of aircraft gates, the mean passenger walking distance is derived 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. Pier, satellite, and pier-satellite terminal configurations are considered. It is assumed that all aircraft parking positions are capable of handling any type of aircraft and passengers are equally distributed among all the gate positions over the life of the facility. Two groups of hub transfers are defined to accommodate different levels of hub and spoke operations. The optimum terminal 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. The probability distribution of the walking distance of a passenger is generated by simulation. Given an acceptable walking distance, several statistical parameters that are suitable to compare the optimum geometries for different configurations are reported. It is shown that in most cases the lower and the upper bounds of the optimum number of piers or satellites are proportional to the square root of the total number of gates in the terminal. For a wide range of passenger mixes and numbers of gates, a semi-centralized pier configuration appears to be the best terminal configuration with respect to passenger walking. Guidelines for the selection of the best terminal configuration for non-hub, moderate-hub and all-hub (wayport) terminals are presented. The application of the proposed method in a terminal expansion situation is given.

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    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice.

    Volume (Year): 26 (1992)
    Issue (Month): 1 (January)
    Pages: 59-74

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:transa:v:26:y:1992:i:1:p:59-74
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