ARC offers its customers consultancy in all areas of airport planning and airport operations. An interdisciplinary team of experts ranging from architects, civil, traffic and aerospace engineering to economists work in close co-operation and are selectively chosen to meet the requirements of every project.


The variety of services of Airport Research Center amongst others incorporates the following categories:

Airport Planning & Design

Airport Research Center GmbH (ARC) offers extensive services, ranging from the development of early conceptual studies, the comprehensive creation of airport master plans, conduction of aeronautical studies to the functional planning of airport facilities, such as hangars or passenger terminals.


In the context of international airport master planning ARC has extensive experience in planning and design of all relevant airside and landside systems including e.g. facility requirement and functional programming, facility sizing, layout planning, environmental impact studies, obstacle surface planning, ICAO compliance checks, etc.


Additionally, ARC cooperates with a broad range of partners, offering clients a wide selection of services with regard to master planning, including but not limited to, the following:


  • Evaluation of existing plans
  • Strategic planning
  • On-the-spot advisory service
  • Development of conceptual studies
  • Development of master plans
  • Optimization of master plans
  • Functional planning of all airport areas
  • Evaluation of different layout concepts for runway, taxiway and apron systems as well as terminal buildings
  • General design and detailed planning of all facilities  (i.e. catering, cargo, fire brigade, workshops, maintenance halls, hotels, offices, etc.)
  • Airport access evaluation (curb side, parking systems, rail facilities, etc.)


ARC utilizes an integrated approach, being able to offer tailor-made master plan concepts which suit all individual airport requirements. If required the functional relevance of plans are evaluated, validated and optimized for future use with sophisticated simulations. The results of these studies are processed according to the clients‘ demands, including master plan layouts, functional plans, detailed blueprints and technical descriptions.

Airport Simulation

Simulation is a key step in modern optimization of business processes and decision making to provide well founded interpretations and realistic recommendations. On the one hand, simulation helps to optimize investments and to reduce costs through improved efficiency and enhance capacity. On the other hand the passengers’ value can be increased leading to a better profitability.

Simulation allows the planner to:


  • test the planned facilities and operational concepts in a virtual environment,
  • testing multiple alternatives in a short period of time,
  • analyze even complex interdependencies,
  • communicate results to various stakeholders,
  • find the best cost-effective approach.


Using simulation software also makes it possible to grasp all the interactions and dynamics that take place between the different services, processes and passengers. In the Aerodrome Design Manual, IATA recommends the use of simulation: “Passenger flow simulation […] should be used to optimize existing facilities, to validate concepts, and when saturation or interaction between subsystems and overflow conditions are expected” [Chapter F9.11, page 212], because the classical ‘handbook’ methods lack of dynamics and flexibility of simulation.


Simulation is a valuable tool that makes it possible to communicate results and problems with the various stakeholders during the entire planning process. Stakeholders participate in the simulation model from the beginning by providing input data for the model, which in turn guarantees that the model itself is as accurate as possible. Various graphical possibilities, above all the 3D environment of the simulation system, enable a common understanding of future situations for all stakeholders.


Airport Research Center helps its clients to benefit from these advantages throughout all phases of a design project and beyond. With CAST and its applications – CAST Terminal, CAST Aircraft and CAST VehicleAirport Research Center provides a powerful, flexible and future-proved simulation platform that is able to model such tasks in a most efficient way.


The fields of investigation embrace the complete area of airport planning: the runway systems, the taxiway and apron configuration, terminals and landside development of the airports with traffic and transport systems.


Simulation studies for all airport facilities are offered:


  • Passenger handling
  • Baggage handling system
  • Curbside traffic
  • Aircraft movements
  • Airside traffic
  • Runway system

Capacity Assessment

Due to the continuous traffic growth in the aviation market, one of the most important factors for short and long term economic success of an airport is to provide sufficient capacity in all parts of an airport. At the same time, the provided capacity needs to be used in the most efficient way.


Airport Research Center has supported many airports in capacity assessment, analysis and optimization of all relevant airport facilities considering aircraft and vehicle traffic as well as the passenger and baggage flows. Performed capacity studies aimed at


Dimensioning of terminal infrastructure


  • New terminals / terminal extension
  • Number of required service facilities
  • Required area for waiting and circulation


Bottleneck detection


  • Achieving IATA service levels
  • Balancing of facilities
  • Assessment of future traffic demand / flight schedules


Optimization of infrastructure usage


  • Test of operational concepts
  • Optimization of resource allocation
  • Optimization of staffing


Capacity studies can comprise elements but also the overall airport system, including


  • Passenger terminals
  • Baggage handling system
  • Runway system
  • Taxiway system
  • Apron
  • Curbside traffic


Airport Research Center uses both analytical models and simulation models to have the right tool at hand to efficiently perform the required task. The self-developed comprehensive airport simulation tool CAST allows the analysis of even complex interdependencies and its 3D environment successfully considers site-specific space characteristics.


This allows to assess existing and also future capacity limits and congestion levels or to perform process flow and peak analysis studies. Bottlenecks are identified and strategies and measures how to solve these bottlenecks can easily be elaborated by various „what-if“ scenarios.

Aviation Market Analysis & Forecast

Business planning requires extensive knowledge of the anticipated volume of traffic. Accurate forecasting of this data is essential for the approval process and the planning of investments and infrastructure. Besides a wide range of consulting services the Airport Research Center assists successful international and national airports and airlines with customized traffic forecasts, analyses and market reports.


The forecasts and market appraisals focus besides global market and growth tendencies on specific conditions at individual airports, their catchment areas and market segments.


Forecast models developed by Airport Research Center consider a combination of factors including economic development, socio-demographic structures, global growth tendencies, airport infrastructure and competing offers. Once the initial calculations are made, forecasts can be tailored to meet our clients’ individual needs. The data can be presented in different ways, depending on which sector of the market it is intended to reach.


The Airport Research Center has access to extensive data resources for the creation of market analyses and forecasts.
In respect to the scope of analyses and prognosis services several Airport Choice Models and market simulation tools enable comprehensive and detailed results.


Services offered by Airport Research Center


  • Passenger, cargo and air mail market forecasting
  • Traffic forecasting
  • Market potential analysis
  • Capacity studies
  • Market appraisals at country, region and city level
  • Reports and appraisals on airport, airline and modal competition
  • Determination of regional economic aspects of airports
  • Flight schedule analysis and data reporting
  • Generation of input data for capacity, noise and environmental calculations
  • Airline route planning and base selection
  • Business planning for airlines
  • Market surveys

Aeronautical & Technical Studies

ICAO Annex 14 requires an international airport to certify its airside for safety purposes. Therefore, ICAO has published standards and recommended practices, which form the basis for the certification of aerodromes by the national civil aviation authorities.


However, especially for long-established airports, these ICAO recommended practices cannot always be fully met, because total compliance is either physically impossible or economically not acceptable. This may include terrain or objects penetrating the obstacle surfaces or a lack of procedures. Thus, non-conformities are likely in practice.


Aeronautical studies are conducted to identify alternative means in order to achieve an equivalent level of safety. These studies assess the impact of deviations from the aerodrome standards and the national regulations and present effective alternatives to compensate for the deviation and to still ensure highest safety standards. Due to the complexity of issue, aerodrome and flight operational expertise is needed as well as the provision of adequate software tools.


Applying a systematic and well documented approach as well as proven procedures and data sources, Airport Research Center is able to provide a comprehensive hazard identification, followed by a detailed analysis of causal factors including severity and likelihood. Based on this gap analysis, effective mitigation measures can be elaborated in a convincing report.



Airport Research Center has extensive experience in conducting aeronautical studies, including but not limited to:


  • Assessment of the obstacle situation
  • Design of airside facilities (runways, taxiways, apron) according to international standards as ICAO
  • Compatibility control of different aircraft types
  • Assessment of visibility (e.g. from tower)
  • Detail planning of taxiway curves / shoulders
  • Orientation of runway according to wind data
  • Calculation of tow curves


In order to meet all requirements of airport planners, ARC has developed different CAD based airport tools, which on the one hand save a great deal of time whilst planning an airport and on the other hand provide impressing visualization for all involved stakeholders. The presented showcase projects focus on:


  • Tower position optimization
  • Obstacle surface planning
  • Runway direction optimization


But airport safety is not limited to its airside; also the airport terminal needs to be considered. There is a range of possible risks which might exist in a passenger terminal. In order to identify and consequently mitigate those, Airport Research Center provides terminal audits and applies latest tools to offer airports a future proof approach to manage terminal safety.

Airport Data Capture

Airport Research Center (ARC) has been developing data capture systems based on Windows, Palm and Android operating systems since 2004. Now ARC’s data capture system has undergone further development based exclusively on the latest hardware and software technology for devices with the Android operating system, making ARC able to offer an up-to-date and future proof data capture solution: CAST Survey.


CAST Survey is a powerful tool suite for passenger survey and data capture projects at airports. All data capture applications focus on specific airport processes and are based on the Android operating system, allowing a wide range of handheld products to run them.


With CAST Survey it is possible to capture more relevant data, both with a higher quality as well as with reduced costs during the data capture process. CAST Survey records the operational process parameters associated with various handling resources, e.g.:


  • Flow rates
  • Handling times of various services
  • Transaction times for sub-processes
  • Idle times
  • Detailed show up profiles
  • Type of travel
  • Modal split
  • Group size
  • Bag count


Two different data capture methodologies are supplied:


  • A short interview with 1 or 2 questions is used at the time on a flight-specific basis to assess incoming passenger profiles. More detailed questionnaires are used to record further passenger characteristics.
  • No interviews are conducted for data capture purposes. This means data can be captured from neutral locations with no passenger input or even subsequently based on video recordings.


All captured data can be linked to additional information. Show up profiles can be easily generated per flight or transaction times can be separated by the amount of luggage or any other attribute.
CAST Survey significantly facilitates the capturing project. Predefined graphical input schemes follow the actual process flow. The user just has to press the relevant button, when the passenger performs a specified action to set a time stamp. The recorded data is exported to the CAST Survey evaluation software, which allows automated analysis for a quick and comprehensive visualization of the captured data.


With the powerful CAST Simulation platform, ARC also provides the right products to make the best use of the gathered data for evaluation and optimization of airport processes: A real one hand solution.


Airport Research Center’s Data Capture Systems have been regularly used by ARC itself and airport operators for various data capture projects at the airports of DUS, FRA, TXL,SXF, BER and HAM.

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