Validating the design of airport capacity projects

Helios carried out a high-level feasibility and operational impact assessment on airfield performance for the Commission for Aviation Regulation

To inform regulator decisions on airport charges


Customer

Commission for Aviation Regulation, Ireland

Context

In January 2019, the Commission for Aviation Regulation (CAR) published the final version of Dublin Airport Authority (daa) Capex Investment Programme 2020+ (CIP) outlining daa's intended airport development projects.

CAR is the body responsible for reviewing and approving the CIP, in terms of deciding if and how the associated funding can be recovered from airport users in the form of airport charges.

To help assess operational improvements brought by the CIP capacity projects, CAR asked Helios to undertake a high-level feasibility and operational impact assessment of the selected projects on airfield performance.

Role of Helios

Helios was appointed to:

  • Update the existing airside and passenger terminal building (PTB) fast-time simulation (FTS) models of Dublin airport so that they include proposed CIP projects
  • Test that both the airside and PTB models can handle the anticipated levels of traffic while maintaining acceptable Level of Service (LoS).
  • Perform a qualitative assessment of the results from the FTS, elaborating on the overall future performance of the airfield, given the assumed future layout, traffic levels and operational procedures.
  • Perform a high-level quantitative assessment of the results from the FTS, reporting on a set of airport performance metrics agreed with CAR.

In order to understand the future operating concept and to gather critical data required for the study, a series of consultations were undertaken with the key airport stakeholders.

Both FTS models used for this study were developed back in 2017 during the Airfield Capacity Assessment project. Since then, the airside model has been used regularly to support Dublin airport's seasonal capacity declaration. Nevertheless, to ensure the CIP projects were modelled correctly, both airside and PTB models were reviewed by airport stakeholders and the feedback received was implemented.

Results


The assessment of various elements of the proposed airside infrastructure generated useful data and learning points including:

  • The maximum runway throughput with a dedicated fleet mix;
  • Expected runway holding delays;
  • Ability of the taxiways to handle aircraft movements and the amount of delay they generated when congested;
  • The shortfall / over supply of aircraft stands by aircraft size category.



In a similar fashion some of the key findings from the terminal model included:

  • LoS expressed through average and peak waiting times and space provision metrics identified for each terminal facility;
  • Identification of potential bottlenecks and recommendations on what infrastructure would be needed to get the performance in these areas back to acceptable levels;

The results achieved through our FTS modelling allowed CAR to better inform its Draft Determination regarding Dublin Airport's charges for the next regulatory period.

CAR expressed satisfaction that Helios has conducted a professional and independent capacity assessment and delivered a robust and considered set of results.

For further information on this project please contact Nick Boud.

Call us to discuss your next project: +44 1252 451 651

Contact us