Sheremetyevo is Russia’s largest airport, with an annual passenger throughput of 40 million people. The airport infrastructure is constantly expanding. Passenger Terminal B is to be commissioned in 2018, and in 2020 and 2023 it will be integrated with Terminals C1 and C2 which are under construction. Additionally, a plan is underway to expand the car parking area at the station square. These changes are expected to help increase the airport capacity and reach an annual throughput of 52 million passengers by 2024.
Airport simulation modeling and optimization for terminals B, С1, and С2
To evaluate the efficiency of improvements, and to understand whether the newly designed airport facilities would be able to handle the projected traffic, the airport management requested that the consultants from the Institute for Development of Transportation Systems (IDTS) develop people flow simulation models for three prospective terminals.
The consultant team was tasked with the following:
- To perform people flow simulation and assess throughput capacity of the new design for terminals B, C1, and C2.
- To determine the optimum numbers and locations for limiting elements: check points, escalators, turnstiles, elevators, etc.
- To run stress tests and evaluate the stability of designed solutions under the conditions of increased loads.
IDTS consultants developed a simulation model for three interconnected airport terminals and one dedicated railway terminal. Passengers in the model used different types of transportation, including car, bus, taxi, and dedicated railway train. The model considered various characteristics of passengers, such as:
- Presence of luggage — in the model this influenced the speed of movement and time taken by passenger services.
- Use of trolleys — this defined the size of the area around a passenger and the speed of movement.
- Presence of welcomers/accompanying persons near the passengers — this influenced the space available for free movement.
- Use of elevators — this determined the load on escalators.
The developers also simulated, in detail, the process of passenger service at checkpoints.
Airport simulation modeling allowed engineers to:
- Change the scheme of traveling from bottom to top level and vice versa in two airport terminals.
- Determine the optimal locations for security checkpoint equipment.
- Determine the required width of pedestrian passageways between parking lots and terminals.
- Approve the decision on additional equipment procurement.
For the basis of this project, the consulting team developed an airport planning and optimization toolkit — a custom AnyLogic library for airport simulation, which allowed users to design and optimize airport processes of any complexity in a short period of time.
Traffic flow simulation at the airport terminal square
Prior to the commissioning of passenger terminal B, the airport management decided to determine which option for road traffic organization at the airport terminal square would be the most efficient, while outlining the bottlenecks in the selected option to cope with them.
To do this, the consulting team from IDTS used the elements of the Road Traffic Library in AnyLogic traffic modeling software. This helped them simulate vehicle movement in detail, integrate the airport terminal square into the existing road network, and evaluate the throughput of the roads around the terminal prior to project implementation.
Consultants developed three road traffic simulation models, which were then evaluated in terms of traffic jams and the speeds at various road sections. The effectiveness of the road traffic planning solution was determined by the following parameters:
- Number of entry and exit checkpoints, and service time for them;
- Turn angle when approaching the checkpoint (in one of the options, the cars had to make a 180-degree turn);
- Number of parking spots;
- Location of pedestrian crossings;
- Free waiting time near the disembarking/embarking area.
Depending on the current action, the vehicle entering the station square would change color.
Color indication helped the consultants determine the causes for traffic jams in the airport terminal square. In various cases these were:
- A large number of “black” cars that were unable to find a parking spot. This could be due to heavy traffic, high capacity at the parking entry checkpoint, or a large number of vehicles with waiting time above 15 minutes.
- Lots of “purple” vehicles leaving the parking lot.
- An insufficient number of exit checkpoints.
- Traffic jams on the road after the exit checkpoint.
Consultants also performed stress tests to identify the bottlenecks in the model. Using AnyLogic as a traffic jam simulator, they applied car density maps available in the software and defined changes of traffic density levels when monitoring the following variables:
- Number of cars entering the station square;
- Number of cars waiting for more than 15 minutes;
- Service time at the exit checkpoint;
- Number of passengers in vehicles.
With the obtained results from the model experiments, the customer could select the optimum plan of traffic planning at the airport terminal square, which would later be implemented in the construction project.