Centre of Applied Research Technology

A Simulation-evolutionary approach for the allocation of Check-In desks in Airport Terminals


The aeronautical industry is still under expansion in spite of the problems it is facing due to the increase in oil prices, limited capacity, and novel regulations. The expansion trends translate into problems at different locations within an airport system and are more evident when the resources to cope with the demand are limited or are reaching to theirs limits.

In the check-in areas they are appreciated as excessive waiting times which in turn are appreciated by the customers as bad service levels. The article presents a methodology that combines evolutionary algorithms and simulation in order to give the best results taking into account not only the mandatory hard and soft rules determined by the internal policies of a terminal but also the quality indicators which are very difficult to include using an abstract representation. The methodology uses an evolutionary algorithm to satisfy the different mandatory restrictions such as minimum and maximum number of check-in desks per flight, load balance in the check-in islands, opening times of check-in desks and other restrictions imposed by the level of service agreement. Once the solutions are obtained, they are evaluated using a simulation model of the terminal that takes into account other aspects of the problem such as arriving profiles of the passengers, the opening times and the physical configurations of the facility under study with the objective to determine which allocation is the most efficient in real situations in order to maintain the quality indicators at the desired level.

Reference M├║jica, M., Zuniga, C. (2013), A Simulation-evolutionary approach for the allocation of Check-In desks in Airport Terminals , Air Transport and Operations Symposium (ATOS), Toulouse, France.
8 July 2013

Publication date

Jul 2013


Zuniga, C.