South Gates at Dublin Airport.; South Gates at Dublin Airport.;

South Gates, Dublin Airport, Dublin

Using the latest simulation techniques to create a new boarding facility

Dublin Airport is one of the fastest growing airports in Europe, welcoming a record 29.6 million passengers in 2017. Arup and Kavanagh Tuite supported daa (Dublin Airport Authority) in developing the new South Gates facility at the airport. This satellite boarding zone facility provides walk-on access to aircrafts at nine stands, via five boarding gates.

daa appointed us to validate the concept in accordance with existing Dublin Airport service levels, including selection of the most appropriate construction method, preparing the basis of design to allow the building to be tendered and management of detailed design development and project delivery.

A new boarding facility

The South Gates area is a dedicated passenger hold room to facilitate passenger boarding of nine non-contact stands in the South Apron of the airport, via passenger walkways. It has been designed to be used to accommodate departing flights in the busy early morning period and arriving flights in the evening, hence reducing congestion in Terminal 2.

The facility is designed to operate in three different modes throughout the day. In the morning, it operates for departures only; in the afternoon, it facilitates mixed mode operations; and in the evening, it allows for arrivals only. For the mixed mode operations, an internal security ‘swing’ gate was incorporated into the building design to accommodate segregation of arriving and departing passengers.

Project Summary

2,205 internal floor area

5 passenger gates

29.6millionpassengers in 2017

Motion modelling to study passenger behaviour

Dynamic modelling of passenger movements were carried out using MassMotion modelling pedestrian simulation software. This enabled us to analyse the passenger journey to and from the South Gates, encompassing a number of scenarios including the passenger flow within the terminal bus hold room, the interactions between pedestrians and motorised modes of transport, the bus de-boarding processes and the passenger flow within the new South Gates.

The provision of a comfortable and seamless transport connection between the South Gates and the terminal buildings was deemed essential for the overall success of the project. Two separate bus routes are provided, one serving departing passengers to the South Gates and the other serving arriving passengers from the South Gates. The analysis and optimisation of the bussing operation was based on micro-simulation analysis of the bus movements using VISSIM software.

The outputs of these simulations were integrated so that the performance of the facility could be validated against international airport standards while meeting the functional requirements of daa. The output of the modelling and design work streams developed a facility that provides a safe, comfortable passenger environment with appropriate levels of service, facilities and passenger information.

The South Gates facility was constructed using a modular system to meet the rapid programme requirements. This design and construction methodology enabled airport activities to continue uninterrupted, with minimum disruption and waste, and allowed for the fast track programme to be realised. Arup supervised the expedited construction and delivery process and the operational readiness programme to ensure delivery of the facility in line with the expectations of daa and their stakeholders.