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SIMULATION ANALYSIS OF END-AROUND TAXIWAY OPERATIONS
Runway and taxiway configuration could affect airport capacity and safety, and airline taxiing time and fuel consumption. In this study, a discrete-event stochastic simulation model is created to explore the impact of four different runway and taxiway choices on a fictional airport with parallel runways that have End-Around Taxiways (EAT) at each end. Scenario 1 represent the conventional runway and taxiway choices used in parallel runway systems, while Scenarios 2, 3, and 4 mimic three new choices that become possible because of the usage of the EAT. Three designed experiments are used to explore the influence of the four scenarios in terms of taxi time, fuel consumption, and number of runway crossings during high traffic periods, as well as the ability to cope with increases in the load level.
Some main findings are: 1) using the outboard runway to land and the EAT as the taxi-in path would yield the shortest average taxi-out time, while the average taxi-in time is similar or longer than that in the conventional choice; 2) if arrival aircraft are allowed to land over an active EAT, using the outboard runway to take off and the EAT as the taxi-out path would show advantages in both the average taxi-in time and the average taxi-out time; 3) if the EAT is operated under current FAA regulation, using the outboard runway to take off and the EAT as the taxi-out path could still show advantages in the average taxi-in time, while the average taxi-out time is the longest during high arrival period; 4) the results of the average fuel consumption indicate similar trends with the results of the average taxi time; 5) using the EATs could either eliminate the number of runway crossings or reduce it significantly; 6) the taxi times with the use of EATs are more stable against the increases in the load level in comparison with the conventional choice.
Safety and human factor issues related to allowing arrival aircraft to land over an active EAT are discussed, as well as some future research topics. This study may encourage airport operators and researchers to explore how to make full use of existing EATs. This study, along with future cost-benefit analyses based on the results of this research, would be a valuable reference for airports that consider constructing EATs in the future.