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

Address: 2711 S. Loop Drive, Suite 4700, Ames, IA 50010-8664

Phone: 515-294-8103
FAX: 515-294-0467

Website: www.ctre.iastate.edu/

Iowa State University--Becoming the Best

Modeling Airside Operations at Major Airports for Strategic Decision Support


Principal investigator:

Project status


Start date: 01/01/15
End date: 06/30/15


Report: Modeling Airside Operations at Major Airports for Strategic Decision Support (1.49 mb pdf) November 2015

Related publications:



About the research


Tens of billions of dollars are spent each year worldwide on airport infrastructure to promote safe, efficient, and environmentally friendly operations. Airport layouts, allocations of gates to carriers, and the manner of deploying ground equipment or personnel can dramatically affect passenger delays, fuel consumption, and air and noise pollution. Airport planners require reliable information about how different spheres of airport activity interact and how system performance would change with alterations to physical infrastructure or operating practices.

We developed a discrete-event simulation model that can be used for strategic decisions regarding the provision and effective utilization of infrastructure needed for airside operations at major airports. We calibrated the model with detailed activity data for an entire year, verified its ability to represent essential spheres of activity, and illustrated its application to study system performance under several operating scenarios.