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Open AccessArticle

Evaluation of Aircraft Boarding Scenarios Considering Reduced Transmissions Risks

by Michael Schultz 1,*,† and Jörg Fuchte 2,†
1
Institute of Logistics and Aviation, Dresden University of Technology, 01069 Dresden, Germany
2
Diehl Aviation, 21129 Hamburg, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Sustainability 2020, 12(13), 5329; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12135329
Received: 3 June 2020 / Revised: 18 June 2020 / Accepted: 24 June 2020 / Published: 1 July 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Technologies and Innovations for Sustainable Air Transportation)
Air travel appears as particularly hazardous in a pandemic situation, since infected people can travel worldwide and could cause new breakouts in remote locations. The confined space conditions in the aircraft cabin necessitate a small physical distance between passengers and hence may boost virus transmissions. In our contribution, we implemented a transmission model in a virtual aircraft environment to evaluate the individual interactions between passengers during aircraft boarding and deboarding. Since no data for the transmission is currently available, we reasonably calibrated our model using a sample case from 2003. The simulation results show that standard boarding procedures create a substantial number of possible transmissions if a contagious passenger is present. The introduction of physical distances between passengers decreases the number of possible transmissions by approx. 75% for random boarding sequences, and could further decreased by more strict reduction of hand luggage items (less time for storage, compartment space is always available). If a second door is used for boarding and deboarding, the standard boarding times could be reached. Individual boarding strategies (by seat) could reduce the transmission potential to a minimum, but demand for complex pre-sorting of passengers. Our results also exhibit that deboarding consists of the highest transmission potential and only minor benefits from distance rules and hand luggage regulations. View Full-Text
Keywords: passenger boarding; aircraft cabin; airport operations; transmission scenarios passenger boarding; aircraft cabin; airport operations; transmission scenarios
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Schultz, M.; Fuchte, J. Evaluation of Aircraft Boarding Scenarios Considering Reduced Transmissions Risks. Sustainability 2020, 12, 5329.

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