Validating the design of airport capacity projects

Helios carried out a high-level feasibility and operational impact assessment on airfield performance for the Commission for Aviation Regulation

To inform regulator decisions on airport charges


Commission for Aviation Regulation, Ireland


In January 2019, the Commission for Aviation Regulation (CAR) published the final version of Dublin Airport Authority (daa) Capex Investment Programme 2020+ (CIP) outlining daa's intended airport development projects.

CAR is the body responsible for reviewing and approving the CIP, in terms of deciding if and how the associated funding can be recovered from airport users in the form of airport charges.

To help assess operational improvements brought by the CIP capacity projects, CAR asked Helios to undertake a high-level feasibility and operational impact assessment of the selected projects on airfield performance.

Role of Helios

Helios was appointed to:

  • Update the existing airside and passenger terminal building (PTB) fast-time simulation (FTS) models of Dublin airport so that they include proposed CIP projects
  • Test that both the airside and PTB models can handle the anticipated levels of traffic while maintaining acceptable Level of Service (LoS).
  • Perform a qualitative assessment of the results from the FTS, elaborating on the overall future performance of the airfield, given the assumed future layout, traffic levels and operational procedures.
  • Perform a high-level quantitative assessment of the results from the FTS, reporting on a set of airport performance metrics agreed with CAR.

In order to understand the future operating concept and to gather critical data required for the study, a series of consultations were undertaken with the key airport stakeholders.

Both FTS models used for this study were developed back in 2017 during the Airfield Capacity Assessment project. Since then, the airside model has been used regularly to support Dublin airport's seasonal capacity declaration. Nevertheless, to ensure the CIP projects were modelled correctly, both airside and PTB models were reviewed by airport stakeholders and the feedback received was implemented.


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