Airports are intermodal hubs and natural interfaces between ground transport and air transport. In the current DLR project “Optimode.net”, an innovative approach is being developed to extend the management of an airport not only to airport landside and terminal processes but to go even further and incorporate feeder traffic in the management of airport processes. Thus providing travelers with a real door-to-door service and letting airport stakeholders benefit from efficient airport management.
Technical core of the project is a simulation environment consisting of nine different simulation models with various simulation methods and abstraction levels. In this paper the simulation environment of a multi airport region which is used in the Optimode.net project will be described in detail and also the interaction of the different simulation modules will be explained. We will also show how this complex simulation environment is used to foster individual door-to-door travel and proactive airport management.
Airports are not just places where airplanes land and take-off but they are also natural interfaces between ground transport modes and air transport. In the door-to-door travel chain it is not sufficient to just focus on a small part of the journey. Attention must be paid to the interlinking of transport modes in different phases of the journey. In recent years substantial improvement could be generated in the field of airport management especially for landside and terminal processes. Concepts like A-CDM (Airport Collaborative Decision Making) (Eurocontrol 2006) and TAM (Total Airport Management) (Eurocontrol and German Aerospace Center 2006) show tangible potentials of improving efficiency and punctuality.
In the current project called Optimode.net (Optimode.net 2017), an innovative approach is being developed at the German Aerospace Center (DLR) to extend the concept of A-CDM and TAM not only to airport landside and terminal processes but to go even further and incorporate ground transport feeder traffic in the management of airport processes. Thus, the traveler gets a real door-to-door service and a reliable travel experience whereas airport operators and airlines can benefit from a more appropriate and efficient resource management using forecast and what-if capabilities (Milbredt, Grunewald and Rudolph 2017). In the Optimode.net project a research prototype system is developed to examine the optimization potential of airport operations by utilizing the Passenger-Trajectory (Milbredt, Grunewald and Rudolph 2016). The Passenger-Trajectory (see also section 3.1) puts the individual passenger into focus by monitoring and supporting the individual door-to-door journeys. To enable a real door-to-door service to passengers, feeder traffic information is included in the airport management. This is an important progress compared to earlier research prototypes (Helm et al. 2014).
In this paper we focus on the simulation environment that builds up the virtual multi airport region in the Optimode.net project. This simulation environment builds the full scale substitute for a real operational airport environment. The simulation is the base for researching the possibilities to foster individual door-to-door travel and proactive airport management. It is expected that the features of the Passenger-Trajectory will improve airport managers’ situational awareness of current and future airport processes including the passengers’ status more comprehensively.
The virtual multi airport region of Optimode.net
Picture shows the virtual multi airport region serving as the base structure for the simulation. There are the three city’s A-Castle, B-Field and C-City being interconnected via road and train. A-Castle represents the largest city with over 1 million citizens and an international hub airport. B-Field has about 250.000 citizens and a small regional airport. C-City has about 500.000 citizens and a medium-sized international airport.
Simulation of a Multi-Airport Region
The main scope of the following description comprises the different simulation models and the kind of simulation methods used to create this multi airport simulation including feeder traffic. Depending on the abstraction level we use a range of simulation methods from Discrete Event, Agent Based and Excel Calculation to Hybrid Simulation models.
To provide a global overview of the whole simulation in Optimode.net, the overall system architecture is described first.
Simulation of security area