Airport capacity studies aim to assess airport efficiency, particularly in terms of maximal aircraft flow in reference to a defined level of service quality. This flow is expressed in aircraft movements and passengers per unit of time. Airport capacity is used as a fundamental decision support element in infrastructure planning and airport slot coordination.
The capacity and simulation unit of the French Civil Aviation Technical Center (STAC) works on both ground infrastructures and airspace.
In order to carry out those capacity studies, the STAC uses different tools:
- MACAO, an analytical tool developed by the capacity and simulation unit ;
- and SIMMOD+, a fast time aircraft traffic simulator originally developed by the Federal Aviation Authorities.
The STAC is currently conducting an evaluation campaign of major fast time aircraft traffic simulation tools able to simulate both ground and flight operations at the same time.