Aerospace, Vol. 4, Pages 57: Comparative Study of Aircraft Boarding Strategies Using Cellular Discrete Event Simulation

Research paper by Shafagh Jafer, Wei Mi

Indexed on: 01 Mar '18Published on: 28 Nov '17Published in: Aerospace


Time is crucial in the airlines industry. Among all factors contributing to an aircraft turnaround time; passenger boarding delays is the most challenging one. Airlines do not have control over the behavior of passengers; thus, focusing their effort on reducing passenger boarding time through implementing efficient boarding strategies. In this work, we attempt to use cellular Discrete-Event System Specification (Cell-DEVS) modeling and simulation to provide a comprehensive evaluation of aircraft boarding strategies. We have developed a simulation benchmark consisting of eight boarding strategies including Back-to-Front; Window Middle Aisle; Random; Zone Rotate; Reverse Pyramid; Optimal; Optimal Practical; and Efficient. Our simulation models are scalable and adaptive; providing a powerful analysis apparatus for investigating any existing or yet to be discovered boarding strategy. We explain the details of our models and present the results both visually and numerically to evaluate the eight implemented boarding strategies. We also compare our results with other studies that have used different modeling techniques; reporting nearly identical performance results. The simulations revealed that Window Middle Aisle provides the least boarding delay; with a small fraction of time difference compared to the optimal strategy. The results of this work could highly benefit the commercial airlines industry by optimizing and reducing passenger boarding delays.