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About Airport Systems Planning
Course Summary
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Class of 2002
Course Material

The course provides a comprehensive survey of state-of-the-art airport planning and design. It addresses the strategic issues that airports face in the rapidly changing environment of international air transport.

The course offers detailed discussions of:

  • Developing and maintaining airport security
  • Impact of tightening security measures on airport operations and facilities
  • Standard and emerging methods for evaluating airport needs, including latest computer models,
  • Strategies for dealing with the variability of traffic and the problems of congestion and delays
  • Design methodologies for airside facilities and modeling
  • The development of major new airports such as Athens, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, and Shanghai
  • The design of airport passenger buildings, automated baggage and people mover systems
  • Airport access issues and development in people movers
  • Financing of airports by public and private agencies and by airport user charges
  • Competition between airports and multiple airport systems

Numerous examples drawn from the extensive North American and international consulting experience of both lecturers supplement the presentations of issues and methods.

A major theme for the course is that airport planning takes place in a highly unpredictable environment. It is therefore necessary to adopt flexible approaches to calls for new or expanded facilities. Strategies toward capital investments should be multi-dimensional, not just technical or capital-intensive. For example, in addressing problems of congestion and delays, the course explores the advantages of solutions involving the reallocation of resources, economic incentives, demand management, and the reconfiguration of services and facilities in combination with new construction.

More on Airport Systems Book

The course will distribute copies of the new text Airport Systems: Planning, Design and Management (McGraw-Hill, 2003) by Professors de Neufville and Odoni. It incorporates extensive new material, previously not available, on:

  • efficient configuration of airport passenger buildings
  • cost-effective design through shared use of facilities
  • runway and taxiway capacity
  • demand management
  • airport financing
  • security procedures and their implications

The course will also be highly illustrated from the extensive collection of figures developed in conjunction with the publication of the book.