Queue here! How do we manage 500,000 aircraft manoeuvres in 2020?
Statistics don’t lie. Air traffic has increased dramatically over the past couple of years. In 2015, over 450,000 aircraft took off and landed at Schiphol. This figure will rise to 475,000 in 2016. We expect the number of aircraft manoeuvres to grow to 500,000 a year as of 2020. Do we have capacity for this? Can we cope? What does it mean for ground operations? For infrastructure? These are the questions that To70, together with MovingDot and AirBC, set out to answer.
Where are the bottlenecks?
The first phase of the project consisted of identifying and analysing the bottlenecks in the ground infrastructure. Ruud Ummels, Managing Director at To70, explains: “Using fast-time simulation, we determined the size of the impact for the identified bottlenecks. In doing so we initially examined the first two runway preferences. In other words: the two best combinations of available and usable runways. Later we added two other common preferences.”
What solutions can we come up with?
The main bottlenecks prove to be at the head of lanes 36C and 24. Ruud Ummels: “We came up with solutions for these bottlenecks, such as additional lanes and remote holdings. One example is the double Quebec taxiway, the taxiway over the A4.”
We charted the ground infrastructure
The study encompasses about 80% of the total operations. A thorough job. Ruud Ummels: “Throughout the project we held sessions with experts. We did so both to chart the operational bottlenecks in the ground infrastructure and to obtain and validate input for the simulation models.”
We are drawing up a roadmap of the required investment
“The results of the simulations tell us how great a risk there is of delays in 2020. And what will change if we adapt the ground infrastructure,” Ruud Ummels continues. “The results serve as input for a roadmap of the investment required to enable 500,000 aircraft manoeuvres in 2020.
Nothing ventured, nothing gained
To70 charted the costs and benefits of each solution. “The old saying of ‘nothing ventured, nothing gained’ certainly applies here,” Ruud Ummels acknowledges. “Investment in ground infrastructure is essential to allowing us to grow to 500,000 aircraft manoeuvres, and beyond, investment in both additional lanes and buffers.”