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Develop a simulation model with appropriate animations of the airport operation system focusing on the use of the runways.

Systems Modelling and Simulation Assignment 2021-22

Every year the assignment for Systems Modelling and Simulation module has a different theme. For example, in the previous years the assignments had healthcare, banking services, manufacturing, and logistics themes. This year our assignment is about airport operations management. All this variation allows you to appreciate how this fundamental subject can be applied to different problems which fundamentally have similar performance indicators. Enjoy this year’s assignment!

Aircrafts arrive at an airport according to an exponential distribution λ =40 minutes of time between arrivals.

Upon arrival, the planes would wait in the air for a signal from the control tower before they are able to land. The airport has two runways, one for landing and the other for taking off.

Upon allocation of the runway, the aircraft lands, the process of landing and clearing the runway follows a Triangular distribution of TRIA (1, 3, 5) minutes.

The taxi time between the runways and the terminal gates follows an Exponential

distribution of λ = 10minutes. The passengers and luggage unloading delay time from the aircraft, follows an Exponential distribution of λ = 15minutes.

From the total number of all arriving flights at the airport, 20% go to Terminals 1, Terminal 2 takes 30%, and Terminals 3 and 4 each take 25%. Each terminal has a capacity of 5 gates.

Aircraft departures also follow the Exponential distribution of λ =35 minutes. The ratio of aircraft departure from each terminal is the same as arrivals (i.e., T1: 20%, T2: 30%, T3: 25%, and T4: 25%).

The loading time for all departing aircrafts at each terminal follows an Exponential distribution with λ = 35 minutes.

The runway maintenance team has to check for external objects on the runways therefore, they conduct routine manual inspections on each Runway. Due to safety guidelines both runways are closed during the detection. The inspection and cleaning process takes place every 5.5 hours and follows a Normal distribution with mean of (μ=15) and standard deviation of σ =3. The Meantime between failures follows the wait rule.

In this example ignore passenger check-ins etc.

1. Develop a simulation model with appropriate animations of the airport operation system focusing on the use of the runways. Simulate the airport operation for 48hr cycle times (simulation time) and replicate for 5 times without initiating system.

2. On average, what percentage of the time are the runways in the idle or busy state?

3. Discuss the Utilisation of each Runway and Terminals on daily basis during the simulation run.

4. Display the WIP for arriving planes, departing planes and the total WIP on one plot over a simulated time of 48hrs (for each simulation run). Do not initialize the statistics between your simulation runs.

5.  Assuming the Level of Sound Exposure from each aircraft is given by a triangular distribution with values 50, 60 and 100 decibels, display on a plot, over a simulated time of 60hrs, the total number of aircrafts in process that have a sound level above a specified threshold of 80 decibels. [Hint: You need to look at the WIP, also assign sound levels to airplanes when they are created]

6. Assuming some of the departure aircrafts (1 percent) require emergency landing due to technical problem so they have priority in the queue. Please add this to your model and design and record the total number of aircrafts in process that have an emergency landing.

7. Write a report that explains your modelling approach and process, explaining how key concepts such as waiting for signal from the control tower were modelled.

Discuss the results of your simulation with regard to key performance factors: runway and terminal utilisation, WIP, noise pollution, waiting times and queues both in the air and on the ground to access terminals.

9. Offer suggestions of how to improve the performance of this report with respect to the key performance indicators: runway and terminal utilisation, WIP, noise pollution, waiting times and queues both in the air and on the ground to access terminals.

Your suggestions should be simulated, and results compared to the original model.


10. The airport management wishes to double the number of aircraft that arrive and depart from the airport. Offer suggestions on how this could be possible with respect to maintaining or minimising the emission levels. Discuss your various suggestions by creating simulation models and comparing the results with one another.

Use Run conditions defined as: Warm-up Period = 12 hours, Replication Length = 72 hours, and Number of Replication = 5. The system requires initialisation between replications, but statistics should not be initialised.

Hint: Create arrivals and departures separately. But make sure you dispose the aircrafts after unloading for arrivals and after take-off for departing aircraft.

Please enclose a printout of the Arena’s final Summary Report (*.out) for each part of the assignment as an appendix to your report. The summary report is automatically generated by Arena in the same directory that you run and compile your model. If number of pages exceeds 20. just provide extracts of the replications covering various sections rather than all the content (appendix should not exceed 20 pages).

Part of the allocated mark for each part is for intuitive modelling approach, design, animation, and presentation of the simulation models and the report. The value and the results need to be interpreted and explained.

Ensure that you follow the assignment guidelines for submission which is available on


Click on Teaching →Systems Modelling and Simulation → Assignment and Project

Note: if you find part of the assignment text difficult to follow please feel free to contact us for further explanations. Please put your questions in clear and precise form in an email and we will endeavor to respond to you as soon as possible.submission

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