How to realize efficient ground aircraft operations at a large airport is a key issue to respond increasing air traffic demands. This study aims at establishing a systematic and concrete method for assessing not only ground facility designs but also operation schemes in terms of aircraft operations on airfields. A multi-agent simulation system was developed for ground aircraft operations based on the simulation model constructed through field visit and observation considering implicit action rules of field experts. An interactive design process of visualizing simulation results, showing them to field experts, getting their opinions, and considering the obtained feedbacks is very effective for brush-up of the simulation model or design plans. The simulation aims directly at assessing efficiency of operations plans, and finally at improving efficiency through interactive process with experts of proposal, simulation, and review. Comparison of simulation results with the field data demonstrated that the simulation system can well predict the actual operation performance and that it is useful to comparatively assess design plans for ground aircraft operations. The method proposed was then applied to a case study to assess the operation plans expected after the scheduled extension of a runway and a terminal building at Tokyo International Airport (Haneda). As a result of simulation, several problems in the present plans could be pointed out, and the findings will be useful to revise them.
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