Ground Handling Simulation with CAST

Author: Sara Sanz de Vicente

Master Thesis


Nowadays low cost airlines carriers have grown becoming an important part of the passenger air traffic market. Since they are looking for ground handling operations which would reduce the aircraft costs, a new aircraft can be developed optimizing the turnaround process. This master thesis is focused on the analysis of ground handling processes and and the description and application of the simulation program Comprehensive Airport Simulation Technology (CAST) Ground Handling. This program enables to obtain a 3D simulation of different service arrangements of a reference aircraft model, including an analysis about involved costs in the turnaround process. The analysis of ground handling processes is based on the real-time ground handling videos recorded at different airports by ARC Aachen. The videos were analyzed to collect data of ground handling process times and characteristics. The data was summarized in and Excel table in order to be statistically analyzed. Based on the results of the statistical analysis, the turnaround Gantt charts have been created and analysed showing the features of the turnaround scenario with the shortest turnaround time and the smallest ground handling costs. The conducted simulation shows the ground handling process of a reference aircraft based on the Airbus A320 during a turnaround. The results that have been extracted from the simulation are the ground handling process times and the costs and the visual simulation in 3D of the defined scenario. The simulation program is being developed by ARC Aachen, therefore a discussion of several possible improvements has been proposed. A theoretical analysis of unconventional configurations has been carried out based on literature research on ground handling processes for these configurations and on a literature research on ground handling improvements showing the compatibility of the box wing and the blended wing body configurations with current airports and ground handling procedures. All the information presented in this master thesis might be useful when developing an aircraft optimized for ground handling.