Small-scale trials on passenger microbehaviours during aircraft boarding and deplaning procedures

NRC researchers have recently employed computational tools to simulate airline passenger movement – primarily to examine the impact of different procedures on aircraft boarding times. It was felt that the modelling techniques could be improved by the inclusion of current, relevant and refined data on passenger movement. This article outlines a series of small-scale laboratory tests performed to help quantify individual passenger boarding and deplaning movement with and without the presence of luggage. Test subjects were monitored and video recorded while participants moved through a cabin section enabling observers to quantify the performance of specific micro-behaviours that formed the deplaning and boarding process. These tests were conducted at the National Research Council of Canada's prototype cabin research facility. The trials involved a total of 35 subjects who were each observed performing a series of 12 trials inside the cabin section. These trials were formed from the manipulation of three factors: seat pitch (29 in/31 in/33 in), luggage (present/absent), and instructions (continuous flow/discrete movements). During each trial, participants performed a series of micro-behaviours that included traversing the aisle/row, stowing/collecting under-seat bags, seat belt fastening and unfastening and adopting a brace position. In addition, two trials were conducted for each participant outside of the cabin facility to establish baseline straight line movement speeds with and without luggage. The study indicated that the impact of luggage and seat pitch had a notable, but complex, effect on performance and, more importantly, generated an array of data-sets for use in future simulation efforts. For instance, seat pitch appeared to have a more consistent impact when passenger movement was perpendicular to the seat row, as opposed to along the seat row where the impact was varied. Such data collection is necessary to advance empirical support for current and future simulation efforts.


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  • Accession Number: 01668868
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Feb 14 2018 5:00PM