Accelerating Moving Walkways for Quality People Transport in Airports: an Assessment of Their Applicability in Amsterdam Airport Schiphol



Accelerating Moving Walkways for Quality People Transport in Airports: an Assessment of Their Applicability in Amsterdam Airport Schiphol

Authors

I Kusumaningtyas, G Lodewijks, Delft University of Technology, NL

Description

This paper presents the findings of a study that assess the applicability of accelerating moving walkways (high-speed passenger conveyors) to provide quality people transport in airports. We take the Amsterdam Airport Schiphol as the case study.

Abstract

Annual growth of passengers and flights has imposed terminal capacity to heavy performance. As a consequence of the massive growth in air travel, the scale of modern airport terminals often exceeds human proportions, resulting in long walking distances within the airport environment. The use of hub-and-spoke configurations by most of the major passenger airlines also lead to increasing terminal sprawl associated with the movement of transfer passengers through the terminals to switch flights. The established minimum connect times (MCTs) should provide domestic and international transfer passengers adequate time to reach their connecting gates at the airports, while in the same time enable airlines to complete the connecting process as quickly as possible to maximize the productivity of their aircraft fleets. Short connection time between flights is one of the key selling points for airlines, and is among the most important criteria that passengers consider when making their choice of which airline to use.

In order to achieve acceptable passenger walking distances as well as aircraft-to-aircraft transfer times, more reliance is being placed on transport technology. Some alternatives of transport modes that can be used to assist passengers? mobility in airports are buses, automated people movers, courtesy carts, and moving walkways. In the field of moving walkways, new systems with higher transport speed have been developed. These systems, generally known as accelerating moving walkways (AMWs), continuously move passengers by accelerating them from a lower speed of 0.65?0.75 m/s at the entrance, up to a higher speed of 2.0?2.5 m/s at the middle section, and then decelerate them again to 0.65?0.75 m/s at the exit. Compared to conventional moving walkways, which typically operate at 0.65?0.75 m/s, AMWs can transport people approximately three times faster.

This paper presents the findings of a study, which aims to assess the applicability of AMWs to provide quality people transport in airports. We take the Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (AAS) as the specific location for the study. The AAS is one of Europe?s largest and busiest airports, which also functions as a hub airport. Almost 50% of its passengers use the airport to transfer to a connecting flight to resume their journey. Due to airport expansions, walking distances become longer and transfer times become tighter. However, to compete with other airports, it is desired that the MCTs do not increase. Hence, we evaluate whether AMWs can be a suitable alternative to solve the problem.

We conduct a literature review to compile the features of AMWs, including their advantages and disadvantages. By understanding their characteristics, the competitiveness and potential application areas of AMWs compared to other transport modes can be evaluated. We collect data of the present situation in the AAS, which include data of the number of passengers flying through the airport terminal and piers, the schedules of arriving and departing flights, the layout of the airport terminal, the walking routes and distances of transfer and O-D passengers, and the currently available travel aids for passengers. With this information, we define what problems are present associated with passengers' mobility within the airport and what requirements must be fulfilled by the selected transport technology. Next, we analyze the applicability of AMWs as an alternative to solve the problems and fulfil the requirements. This include determining the possible location(s) for the AMWs and the influences they may bring to that/those specific location(s), e.g. in terms of passengers travel time, acceptance by passengers, safety, reliability, integration to existing infrastructures, and operational costs.

Conclusions on the applicability of AMWs to provide quality people transport in the AAS will be based on the study above. Further recommendations will be presented accordingly.

Publisher

Association for European Transport