When developing an airport, or improving operations, several processes have to be considered, infrastructure has to be planned and the objectives of several stakeholders have to be reached. With the CAST airport simulation software, developed by Airport Research Center, Germany, specific areas of focus such as security control or stand allocation, as well as complex interdependencies between the terminal and airside, can be analysed and understood. “Capacity assessment and testing of options takes the risk out of management’s decision making,” explained Michael Laubrock, Managing Partner at Airport Research Center. “Utilisation of resources can be optimised by balancing capacities and demand.”
He added that a permanently available simulation model represents the airport with all its relevant operational components, thus providing a test environment always available for various questions to be asked. This may concern the short and medium-term future, or both.
In order to provide a suitable tool for this task, Airport Research Center has equipped CAST with appropriate interfaces and analysis functions. “This allows a very time-efficient generation and distribution of information, and a baseline for quick decisions. Dependent on specific stakeholder needs, the relevant system parts of landside, airside and airspace are considered,” Laubrock commented.
Meanwhile, for SESAR, CAST together with the ATHOS system by Airbus provides the simulation and gaming test bed for the SESAR concepts, like Airport Operations Management, where the processes of performance steering, performance monitoring, performance management and post operations management build the core for proactive decision making. “The concepts are validated in a dynamic simulation environment where CAST provides a full model of the airport, not only representing the infrastructure and traffic, but also all related processes, control actions and the information flow between the contributing parties,” Laubrock said.