Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Legacy Department

Industrial Engineering

Committee Chair/Advisor

Taaffe, Kevin

Committee Member

Cho , Byung Rae

Committee Member

Dunning , Anne

Committee Member

Shappell , Scott


This dissertation focuses on the use of passenger conveyance systems and modeling passenger flow in airport terminals. The successfully designed airport concourse must perform at a level that meets the needs of its users - the passengers. In this research, we propose a database design methodology that allows key conveyance statistics to be analyzed within specific locations across the airport terminal. Using passenger conveyance observations collected at five North American airports, the database enables airport planners, operators and consultants to assess passenger behavior and conveyance device performance. Results from this section of the research were in direct support of the Airport Cooperative Research Program (ACRP).
In both vertical and horizontal mode choice analysis, two logistic models are developed to serve as predictors to examine the relationship between passenger characteristics and their choice of conveyance system and analyze the probabilities of a passenger choosing different conveyance devices in airport terminals. Our analyses through logistic models show that passengers tend not to use moving walkway with increasing number of rollers.
It is important for airport planners to provide an appropriate level of service (LOS) for airport passengers. To estimate potential congestion and meet service-level requirements in a concourse, we develop a series of simulation models to estimate the occupancy of any designated area (or footprint) within a concourse. Specifically, factors such as the number of gates, flight arrivals, aircraft size and gate configuration are considered in simulation models. We identify significant factors that affect the congestion and establish a service level design standard matrix in the footprint area. We also introduce zones inside the concourse and examine how various diversions (concessions, restaurants, etc.) within the concourse and the capacity of departure lounge in each gate affect passenger congestion in each zone.
Finally, we combine the database and mode choice models into two comprehensive concourse simulation models: (1) concourse with moving walkway (2) concourse with vertical transition devices (escalator, elevator and stairs). We use these models to estimate passenger occupancy and the resulting LOS. This research provides an understanding into how various concourse operation strategies affect when and how passenger congestion forms within the terminal.



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