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Journal of Advanced Transportation
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 4950425, 19 pages
Research Article

A Mesoscopic Simulation Model for Airport Curbside Management

Department of Civil Engineering, University of Toronto, 35 St. George Street, Toronto, ON, Canada M5S 1A4

Correspondence should be addressed to Mehdi Nourinejad

Received 11 March 2017; Revised 24 May 2017; Accepted 7 June 2017; Published 6 July 2017

Academic Editor: Richard S. Tay

Copyright © 2017 Tyler M. Harris et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Airport curbside congestion is a growing problem as airport passenger traffic continues to increase. Many airports accommodate the increase in passenger traffic by relying on policy and design measures to alleviate congestion and optimize operations. This paper presents a mesoscopic simulation model to assess the effectiveness of such policies. The mesoscopic simulation model combines elements of both microscopic simulation which provides a high level of detail but requires large amounts of data and macroscopic simulation which requires very little data but provides few performance measures. The model is used to simulate scenarios such as double parking, alternative parking space allocation, increased passenger demand, and enforced dwell times at Pearson International Airport in Toronto, Canada. Scenario analysis shows that adjusting model inputs provides reasonable results, demonstrating the value in using this approach to evaluate curbside management policies. The results show that double parking reduces the utilization ratio and the level of service of the outer curbside but cuts down the passenger and vehicle waiting time. Inclement weather conditions reduce the utilization ratio of the inner curbside and the supply of commercial vehicles since it takes them longer to return to the airport. Finally, reducing the allowable parking time at the curbside decreases the average dwell time of private vehicles from 89 seconds to 75 seconds but increases the number of circulating vehicles by 30%.