CTRE is an Iowa State University center, administered by the Institute for Transportation.

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Website: www.ctre.iastate.edu/

Iowa State University--Becoming the Best

Strategic Decision Support for Airport Capacity Planning


Principal investigator:

Project status


Start date: 01/01/16
End date: 02/28/18


Report: Strategic Decision Support for Airport Capacity Planning (2.14 mb pdf) April 2018



About the research


Airside performance at major airports is affected by a large number of interacting factors in three major spheres of airside activity: (1) airport operations control (AOC), (2) maintenance services, and (3) air traffic control (ATC). AOC is responsible for assignment of preferred parking sections (with associated terminal gates). It is also responsible for sending planes to alternative parking spots when there is not a gate available in the preferred section for an arriving aircraft. Maintenance personnel provide turnaround services and deploy tractors for pushbacks at gates and for airlines that require such service. ATC determines how runways are used for arrivals and departures according to wind conditions and coordinates aircraft traffic for safe operation. Smooth operation requires close cooperation among these three spheres of activity. In this report, we describe a discrete-event simulation model and supporting analytical tools designed to help airport planners, operations directors, and air traffic control specialists collaborate in maximizing airside performance.