Airport Research Center GmbH (ARC) has enhanced its CAST simulation software family with a new module to help airports optimise use of stands.
“Stand allocation is one of the major screws that an airport can turn to optimise the use of its infrastructure,” said managing partner Michael Laubrock. Aachen-based ARC developed the relatively new tool in co-operation with Flughafen Zürich, and it has already been acquired directly by Zürich and Frankfurt airports.
The stand optimisation planning tool can analyse future schedule scenarios: either pre-operational and short term, the season ahead, or even several years into the future. This enables a CAST user to identify potential resource bottlenecks before they occur, by forecasting exactly how many stands will be needed at a given time.
For example, Zürich acquired the tool to check that there would be sufficient stands to accommodate the next season’s schedule. Flughafen Zürich wanted to know the stand demand for the entire season obtained by a single stand allocation run.
“They wanted to know exactly which stands would be needed for each type of aircraft,” noted Laubrock. Speaking to Jane’s during Passenger Terminal Expo in Stockholm on 20–22 March, he added that the information can be viewed on a dashboard display or a Gantt chart view, which allows planners to play around with various scenarios and see how each will pan out.
In addition, the newest CAST module allows the airport operator to demonstrate that it is aware of possible bottlenecks in peak periods. These potential problems can be addressed proactively, with all stakeholders working together to find a suitable solution.
“The airport can demonstrate it has an overview of what is happening on stands, because the tool can show real-time animation of stand occupation, which is one of its key selling points. This allows an airport authority to show stakeholders how gate occupancy evolves across a typical busy day,” said Laubrock.
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