Essay on Passenger Terminal Design
Amedeo R. Odoni and Richard de Neufville
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
The standard procedures for sizing the spaces for passenger activities in airport terminals are unsatisfactory in that they easily lead to expensive errors. The essential difficulty lies in the nature of the process, and in particular with the several formulas which specify the area per passenger in different parts of the building. The process and these formulas are insensitive both to the variations in the operational characteristics of terminals and to the overall variability in the level and nature of the traffic. This paper presents practical procedures for incorporating stochastic considerations into …show more content…
Terminal at Paris/Roissy (de Neufville and Grillot, 1982) had an estimated price tag of around US$ 75 million in 1990 terms.
Overdesign, either as a simple expedient for avoiding future congestion or for the aesthetic of open spaces, can also be most expensive. For example, the decision to make the central corridor of the 180 m. long finger pier of the new two-level Sydney ITB 12m. wide, instead of a feasible 6m., implied an extra capital cost of about US$ 4 million.
Cost-effective, efficient design of passenger terminals is thus important, especially in view of the number of new facilities projected. Unfortunately, the standard design procedures for airport terminals are based on handbook formulas insensitive to the realities of each situation. These crude approaches cannot be considered adequate to the task. Worse, it is our observation that the formulas are easy to misunderstand and thus frequently misapplied. A more scientific approach is required, one that incorporates a realistic appreciation both of the dynamics and behavior of sequences of queues, and the the psychology of crowds in such situations. The design process should also recognize that, as we experience deregulation, the elimination of frontier controls, and new airline organizations, the actual levels and needs of future