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Open AccessArticle

Evaluation of Aircraft Boarding Scenarios Considering Reduced Transmissions Risks

by Michael Schultz 1,*,† and Jörg Fuchte 2,†
Institute of Logistics and Aviation, Dresden University of Technology, 01069 Dresden, Germany
Diehl Aviation, 21129 Hamburg, Germany
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Sustainability 2020, 12(13), 5329;
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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