Plane at an airport

Airports that work

Airnodes and the high performing airport


Aurecon now offers a people based rapid assessment tool for airports.

Designed as a landside capacity model influenced by airside demands, the model we call 'Airnodes' can assess airport infrastructure to benchmark airport performance and current capacity, based on passenger response to air schedules, delays, volume entering and exiting the airport and transport links.

Through scenario evaluation and examining the movement of passengers, greeters, visitors and staff we can capture the landside transport  behaviour of people and maximise airport capacity. The process is validated for a specific airport through a series of strategic surveys to observe behaviours and patterns associated with that particular airport.

Complementing our experience in developing world-class solutions that integrate transport hubs with the built environment, our airport modelling capability evaluates the conditions inside and outside a terminal, in response to flight schedules, delays, weather conditions and can assess the service level from a patron’s perspective – ensuring the effectiveness of our solutions and providing sound support for future decision-making and development of airport infrastructure. 

Airnodes’ flexibility can be highlighted by its ability to evaluate all existing public transport modes serving any airport as well as all future planned public transport initiatives. Airnodes can highlight the benefits and impact on modal shifts, changes to passenger capacity and behaviours that influence design decisions.This is important to understanding the implications of airside changes and how it impacts the landside capacity to deliver people to their destinations without bottlenecks and a reliance on car parking. The model can then regenerate the traffic demand, reassign the demand onto the various modes available and gauge usability.

Airnode modelling can also be applied to other major infrastructure such as convention centres, hospitals and shopping centres. Airnodes can work in conjunction with HUB-Trips, a visual assessment tool which can graphically illustrate the relationships and interaction between transport and land use and compare alternative scenarios while incorporating a multi-modal transport model to ensure robust outputs. In addition, HUB-Trips provides customisable on-screen results and reports to meet a range of needs, including multi-criteria assessment and economic evaluation.

Airnodes in practice

OR Tambo International Airport’s (Johannesburg) landside transport system serving the airport’s western precinct (passenger terminal and cargo areas) was recently modelled. Future forecasts predict that approximately 32 million passengers will utilise the OR Tambo International Airport by 2019/20, and a very detailed understanding of the existing capacity to absorb this demand was required.

Over and above the passenger numbers, the airport hub creates lucrative development opportunities and the characteristics associated with additional development were considered in detail to assess future development scenarios. Airnodes was able to assess in finite detail a number of possible scenarios and provide a range of decision points and interventions to the Airports Company of South Africa to ensure the ongoing management of the airport is functional, sustainable, efficient and continues to grow as a hub and gateway into the rest of Africa.

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