The focus of research is to examine how both systems, air traffic and airports, evolve with time under certain conditions and how a desired status for either one can be achieved. To find answers to these questions, it is necessary
- to analyse current development,
- to examine possible future developments of these systems, e.g. through simulation studies,
- to build software tools to help assessing conditions and avoid undesirable situations,
- to develop methods to manage airports efficiently, and
- to observe the effects of these measures.
The goal of Air Transport Research is the development of long-term strategies and measures aiming at changes in infrastructure or new regulations for the air transport system as a whole. These predominantly regional and global research activities are complementary to research at other DLR institutes working on ground traffic development where focus is more on local traffic. This strengthens the capabilities of DLR to work on problems concerning different modes of transport.
The Airport Research aims at developing measures for airport management that efficiently integrate passenger movement into landside and airside processes thus fostering efficient intermodal transport. The airport is also considered to be a prototype of a multi-mode transport hub. Results of this research are expected to be transferable to other intermodal transport hubs.
Comprising a range of methods from strategical to operational aspects, the line of research at the Institute Air Transport and Airport Research allows for the development of harmonized and inter-coordinated procedures. In some cases, it is possible to use the same methodologies in different areas. For example, the use of fast-time simulations is necessary to examine bottle-necks in the capacity of infrastructures to support strategic planning. This method can also be used as part of a decision support system within airport operations.