Flexible Airport Simulation (FLAPS)
FLAPS is a
complete Monte Carlo simulation model that can be used to analyze runway
capacity and delays. This stochastic, event-driven simulation models aircraft
from the approach fix to the runway exit and from the runway departure queue to
the departure fix. Easily adaptable to any geometry, FLAPS produces detailed
statistical outputs on runway capacity and utilization, aircraft delays, exit
use, and runway queues. Due to its computational efficiency and simple input
structure, FLAPS is characterized by a very low cost per computer run compared
to other similar airport simulation packages. The model is written in the C++
computer language and operates on any IBM-compatible PC. Its advantages over
other simulation models are the result of three key features:
FLAPS requires the user to specify inputs on the three primary factors which affect runway capacity: (1) aircraft characteristics and fleet mix, (2) runway layout and availability, and (3) air traffic control operating procedures. Fleet mix requirements include estimated number of operations by aircraft type. For computational efficiency, individual aircraft types are grouped into similar classes based on operating requirements and performance characteristics. FLAPS utilizes up to eighteen aircraft classeswith distinct operating characteristics including approach speed, float and braking distances, and departure runway occupancy time. Runway layout input requirements include the orientation and length of each runway and the location and type (e.g. high speed) of runway exits and intersections. Air traffic control inputs include a range of operational factors such as the runways in use at specified times and their modes (e.g. arrival only, mixed arrivals and departures, departure priority), runway assignment policy (e.g. by aircraft type, by direction of flight, etc.), and the required separations (arrival-arrival, departure-departure, departure-arrival) between successive aircraft operations under different weather conditions. Separation standards are a critical element of runway capacity calculations, and FLAPS is uniquely designed to accurately apply appropriate separations for single runways as well as multiple intersecting or non-intersecting runways. FLAPS also utilizes other air traffic control variables including the location of final approach fixes, land-and-hold-short operations, and the traffic distribution by arrival and departure fix.
The primary output of each FLAPS model run is the capacity of a runway configuration (the maximum number of aircraft arrivals and departures that can be achieved in one hour under given fleet mix, weather, and air traffic control conditions). FLAPS also produces detailed statistics on delays, runway use, and exit utilization by aircraft class. FLAPS has been used to analyze over one hundred runway configurations as part of the Logan Airside Improvements EIS/EIR Project, and has also been used to determine runway capacities at Lambert St. Louis International Airport, Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport, and Sydney Kingsford-Smith Airport.
Please contact our
with questions or comments.