Simulation of apron traffic at Frankfurt/Main Airport

The planned expansion of the Frankfurt Airport will result in significant changes for apron traffic. The new handling facilities for airplanes, passengers, luggage, and freight will alter the topology of traffic connections and the level of the volume of traffic. 

The Fraunhofer IML Project Center Aviation Logistics analyzed the capabilities of the planned apron road systems using the Fraunhofer IML simulation tool SIMIS-APS to determine the corrective actions that need to be taken in order to handle the changes in apron traffic. Using this tool, the project team identified peaks in volume and traffic bottlenecks and studied the possibility of integrating an apron tunnel. When exploring the possibility of integrating a tunnel, the project team took into account tunnel management and use and looked at the potential and possible negative effects of using a tunnel. 

To create an executable simulation model, the following data for the year 2015 was stored in the individual models of the simulation tool: scheduled flight plan, projected volume, buildings, layout of the roads, available resources, and the strategies for using those resources. The simulation experiments were defined, executed, and analyzed in terms of the problem of apron traffic.

Standard applications were used to process the simulation logs and analyze the results of the simulation. The performance, throughput times, and utilization ratios of selected reference values were represented as a time profile. AutoCAD was used to visualize the focal point of the volume of traffic and possible conflicts in the planned layout of the airport.

airport expansion

new terminal facilities

changing market relationships

apron tunnel demand