Bologna Central Control and Search Area


Deerns has been involved in the central control and search area refurbishment of the Guglielmo Marconi Airport of Bologna. The increasing capacity from the current level of 6.5 million people/year to 8.5 million people/year by 2023, drove SAB, the owner, to make a new masterplan but in the meantime, in order to face with the current difficulties in existing search lanes and queue management systems (resulting in congestion within the landside circulation areas and also following to recent IATA recommendations) Deerns supported 3DReid architects in defining a range of short and long term solutions for the area refurbishment. Following an initial options phase, two clear routes emerged: a low impact and a high impact option. The low impact, short-term, solution intended to create a new queuing arrangement with minimal interference to the existing condition. The high impact, long-term, solution required more invasive activities, including the provision of new ‘horseshoe’ search lanes and an enlarged security space in order to optimise the passengers control process by the 2023.

Activities performed by Deerns

Deerns consultancy scope of work was the development of the technical assessment needed to support the lead architect in the definition of a feasibility study which ensured the best options in terms of passenger process performance, engineering feasibility and associated cost estimation. Consequently the activities performed by Deerns involved passenger flow simulation, engineering feasibility studies for the structural and services part and a preliminary estimate of the construction costs.

Security Proces Simulations

During the feasibility study Deerns provided assistance with the simulation of passenger flows in order to optimise the proposed layouts in the two different options. Starting from the passengers flow survey and the recorded data provided by SAB, several simulation had been run for both low impact and high impact layouts in order to take into account different input data and different functional solutions defined and agreed with the client. After having analysed the current critical conditions and current traffic data (peak pax, security check process time, etc.), critical issues have been prioritised together with the client in order to decide which criticalities had to be limited or eliminated and then define and agree boundary conditions (number of security operators, number of banks/control units, waiting times and process flow, presence of differentiated lanes and queues). Then, on each of the main two proposed options, a dynamic simulation model for passenger flows has been performed in order to allow the client realise the actual expected benefit associated with each single option. Additional simulations were performed also considering different queuing configurations in the high impact option.

Engineering feasibility

Deerns supported the lead architect in the development of the two main layout options, in order to ensure the client the best compatibility with the existing structural and service configuration. Consequently, a feasibility assessment of the potential interferences between subsystems and design solutions has been provided, in order to make robust and reliable the two proposals, thus preserving the future adherence of the detailed project to the selected options. Deerns carried out the compatibility verification of the proposed system solutions with the solutions already present in the rest of the airport (such as lighting, power distribution systems, HVAC, advertising, information systems, security) and gave support in the choice of new materials according to their robustness, reliability, maintainability and durability.