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Airports: linking modelling of pedestrians and terminals

Oasys MassMotion™ is recognised as one of the most advanced pedestrian simulation and crowd analysis tools available.  CAST Terminal™ (Comprehensive Airport Simulation Technology) tool is an advanced airport terminal simulator developed by the Airport Research Centre, Germany.

The aim of this proof-of-concept study was to determine whether the outputs and analyses of the MassMotion™ pedestrian modelling tool and the CAST Terminal™ airport simulation tool could be integrated. Integration of the complementary but differing capabilities of these software packages has the potential to create a more comprehensive and robust terminal simulation modelling suite for use in aviation planning.

The viability of the integration was successfully demonstrated. The resulting combined pedestrian-terminal simulation suite uses bespoke tools that import data via the ‘Timetables’ process in MassMotion™ and a customised tool to transfer large volumes of identification tokens into MassMotion™ from CAST Terminal™.

The technical capabilities of the two types of software (CAST Terminal™ and MassMotion™) are well aligned to complement each other.

The CAST Terminal™ software is particularly advanced in the area of simulating processes, facility requirements and the dynamic interactions in airport terminal environments.

MassMotion™ has been developed from a foundation in rail station planning and, more recently, design and assessment of stadiums, evacuation scenarios, high-rise buildings and urban precincts. Because of this developmental history, the logic that defines agent’s choices in MassMotion™ performs well in congested environments and areas of high cross flow.

Alongside these capabilities, MassMotion™ is a visually engaging tool, which is often well received by non-technical stakeholders and senior representatives of client organisations.

Applications for the simulation suite include existing and new airport terminals, and supporting client decisions on wayfinding, retail locations, impacts to circulation and levels of service, and the design life of departure areas.

The simulation tool enables deeper analytical understanding of congestion and performance of areas such as departure concourses. This can allow airport clients to be more reliably informed about the potential impacts of, for example, refinements in short-, mid- and long-term planning of expansions on passenger experience and comfort.