Stansted Airport – Passenger Flow Simulation Study

Manchester Airport Group (MAG) the operator of Stansted Airport (STN) is planning to improve terminal infrastructure at Stansted Airport to meet the expected traffic growth in the near and distant future. Therefore, ARC was tasked together with Pickard Associates to evaluate the capacity provided by the different layouts against the background of the increasing number of passengers. The study was based on highly detailed three-dimensional simulation models.

To simulate a realistic passenger load, different scenario flight schedules had to be combined with typical statistical characteristics of site-specific passenger groups.


For the purpose of model calibration, a three-dimensional simulation model of the existing terminal geometry was generated by ARC. By simulating already flown flight schedules, it was possible to compare the simulation results with the real operations.

Based on the calibrated baseline model further models for the near and distant future were build and different flight schedules, derived from forecasts, were simulated. To complete the future models, several check-in and reclaim belt allocations were conducted.

By simulating different scenarios and comparing these scenarios, ARC was able to give recommendations regarding the future terminal layouts and the capacity provided by those.
Next to presenting the results by graphs and figures, ARC prepared several simulation videos to give a better understanding of the terminal occupancy.

  • Generation of a highly detailed three-dimensional simulation model of the existing terminal geometry
  • Generation of two highly detailed three-dimensional simulation model based on future layouts
  • Simulation and evaluation of the capacity and assessment of the different layouts
  • Comparisons between the layouts and recommendations for future operations
  • Visualisation of results by video clips