Masters Theses

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Civil Engineering

Major Professor

Frederick J. Wegmann

Committee Members

William L. Grecco, Airum Chatterjee


Computer simulation has become a very useful and flexible tool in the planning process of passenger facilities. By this means the probability of queues, congestion and delays can be determined, and different design concepts and operational disciplines can be considered experimentally.

Within this thesis two different check-in disciplines, restricted flight system, and common system are compared. The stochastic simulation models developed to evaluate the performance of the alternative check-in systems examined the impact of 1) changes in the number of passengers boarding per flight, 2) reduction in the number of counters, and 3) different time value to the passengers. Input to the model including 1) service times, 2) passengers rate of arrivals, 3) characteristics of the passenger groups, etc. allowed for testing both alternatives.

Output from the model included 1) queuing times, 2) number of persons in queue, 3) density of crowds, and 4) counter utilization.

After calibrating the model with data gathered at Knoxville's airport, it was found that the common system has better performance than the restricted system. Also it was determined that the restricted system became inefficient for a large number of persons checking in per flight. Finally, by assigning monetary value to the passenger time, it was possible to select the number of counters which represented the minimum cost to the airlines, the airport operator, and the passengers.

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