Analysis of Airport APM Systems using a Computer Simulation Model (1995)

Author: Yi-Dar Lin

Automated People Movers (APM) have become an attractive solution to problems associated with the concept of airside/landside airport development. This technology, if used effectively, could provide an acceptable level of service to airport users and a good operating efficiency to airports and airlines.

The main objective of this research is to develop a computer simulation model to simplify the operational analysis of airport APM systems and to assess their level of service charactelistics. The model simulates the movement of individual passengers and vehicles in the system network, and provides a tool for planners and designers: (1) to determine the sensitivity of system performance for a range of APM design parameters, (2) to examine the flexibility of an APM system under given operational policy and network configurations, and (3) to estimate the APM vehicle energy consumption based on network constrains and system characteristics.

The model is a discrete-event simulation model developed using EXTEND (Version 3.0.2, Imagine That, Inc., 1994) software. With the powerful features of animation, graphics, and hierarchical modeling, the EXTEND libraries provide the capability to easily model alternative service concepts such as shuttles, loops, and single or double routes.