Case Study:
AECOM Uses Simio to Determine Edmonton Airport's De-icing Needs

The Story

A gateway to Alberta's oil sands region, Edmonton International Airport (EIA) covers over 7,000 acres – making it Canada's largest major airport by area. EIA serves about 6 million passengers per year and offers non-stop service to more than 50 national and international destinations -- and it's one of the nation's fastest growing airports.


AECOM's de-icing facilities simulation built in Simio. Click to enlarge.

To prepare for the next growth spurt, the airport turned to AECOM's airport planning group to develop a medium-term plan for its aircraft de-icing installations.

The Challenge

The expected increase in traffic volumes meant that significant funds, aircraft circulation patterns, airline fuel costs as well as passenger satisfaction were at risk. Despite the airport's large area, airside real estate is a precious commodity.

Determining how much de-icing space is required, how to organize it and where to place it became noteworthy issues for the airport servicing Canada's northern most provincial capital.

The Solution

To structure and validate its planning processes, AECOM built a de-icing facilities simulator using Simio® simulation software. Using Simio®, AECOM was able to rapidly develop the de-icing system and use the model as a reliable and highly communicative decision support tool. Simio® allowed AECOM's seasoned planners to predict aircraft wait times while experimenting with different flight schedules, weather conditions, aircraft mix, de-icing bay configurations and coordination methods.

"The ability to test the planned facilities under various conditions enabled us to understand the different tradeoffs and deliver designs well suited to our customers' needs which can be expanded as traffic increases," said Louis Roy, AECOM's Senior Airport Planner. "Our de-icing simulator has now found its place among our standard analysis tools. Simio® was worth our investment."