European airport in the North Sea a rational and feasible option for the European main airports

Environmentalists are, in general, not interested in local solutions which only move pollution problems elsewhere. They wish to resolve pollution issues globally. In regard to air transport, they favour substitution of air transport by rail transport.

For the long distances of intercontinental connections, air transport is the only possibility when travel time is of any importance. Intercontinental trains simply do not exist. As a result, environmentalists tend to accept intercontinental flights, but resist short distance flights for which the train offers a good alternative. They would favour any solution which combines intercontinental transport through the air with continental transport, largely by high-speed trains. Such a solution is offered by the option of an European airport in the North Sea, serving as a main port not only to Amsterdam, but also to London, Paris and Frankfurt*. The continental connections from the airport in the North Sea to those cities could be both airplanes and high-speed trains. The latter would allow restrictions of flight movements around the cities mentioned before. To get insight in the consequences of the option of an European airport in the North Sea we have to accommodate it in our open design simulation. Of course, the island should be much larger and should be located at a larger distance from the shore but, in essence, the same mathematical model can be used. The current throughput of the four airports is given in Table 15.4.

The results of the Open Design simulation are given in Tables 15.5 and 15.6. [O c_mco-1.xls, c_mco-2.xls]

The return on investment for the final run: ROI = 366 = 0.16. The conclusion is that the feasibility of a European mega hub in the North Sea is definitely better than of an island for a national airport only. It alleviates significantly a serious pollution problem for four major cities in Europe and allows air travel to grow according to market demands. In addition, its economic feasibility is a lot better due to large-scale benefits, which improve the return of investment by some sixty percent.

*This idea originates from the TUD-MIT Workshop 'Schiphol Airport as a Sustainable City', Delft, 2001 (CD-ROM obtainable through the authors).

Table 15.4 Current yearly throughput of four airports

No. of passengers Amount of freight

[millions] [million tons]

1. Amsterdam 367 TTÏ8

2. London 102.3 1.74

4. Frankfurt 45.4 1.40

Table 15.5 Constraints ranges in open design simulation of North Sea Island option for Schiphol (as a European mega hub)

Stakeholder

Variable

Constraints ranges

Walk-out

acceptable

ideal

Ministries of Finance and Economics

I [$ billion]

120

75

45

Airlines

t [hours]

1.35

1.05

0.75

Ministries of Environment

d [km]

30

45

60

Airports

f [100 k]

18

24

30

Table 15.6 Results of the open design simulation of the North Sea Island option for Schiphol (as a European mega hub)

Pilot run

[$ billion]

[hours]

[km]

[100 k]

Ideal values

infeasible

0.75

60.0

30.00

Acceptable values

33.7

1.05(0.750)

45.0

24.00

Walk-out values

26.8

1.35(0.600)

30.0

18.00

P = 0.267; calculated with ideal values

37.7

0.833

53.3

28.33

Design for maximum capacity

37.9

0.833

53.3

30.00

Multi Criteria optimisation: Ministry of En-

37.9

0.833

53.3

30.00

vironment relaxes its constraint

Multi Criteria optimisation: airlines relax

37.9

1.05(0.833)

53.3

30.00

their constraint

Final run; I in objective function, d between

36.6

1.05(0.850)

55.0

30.00

acceptable and walk-out values Numbers in italic represent optimised values.

When there is a slack, the values in the optimum solution are given between brackets. P is fraction by which all constraints have to be (equally) relaxed to achieve feasibility.

acceptable and walk-out values Numbers in italic represent optimised values.

When there is a slack, the values in the optimum solution are given between brackets. P is fraction by which all constraints have to be (equally) relaxed to achieve feasibility.

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