Simulation of emergency evacuation in the arrival hall of a crowded airport

Wan Ki Chow, Candy M Y Ng, Nai Kong Fong

Research output: Journal article publicationConference articleAcademic researchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Evacuation in the arrival hall of a crowded airport terminal during emergency will be reported in this paper. Crowded movement under maximum allowed loading during emergency will give serious consequences. Safe evacuation is a concern to the Authority, especially for those terminals with difficulties in complying with the prescriptive fire codes. However, it is not feasible to carry out field tests to realize the evacuation time of the crowd during an emergency. Evacuation models were applied to study the evacuation pattern in the airport terminal. BuildingEXODUS and SIMULEX are two of the widely used evacuation models. Both models had been applied to study the evacuation in large and geometrically complex spaces with a high occupant level. These two models were applied to study the emergency evacuation in the arrival hall. Allowed figures on occupant loading in the local codes were used. Four sets of scenarios were assessed in the crowded areas to realize the evacuation time of occupants under fire and normal conditions. Results showed that jamming occurred around the staircases of the arrival hall. Occupants had to queue up with a long waiting time under crowded condition. Providing more direct exits of adequate width is an effective method to reduce the waiting time of occupants. Controlling the occupant loading with appropriate fire safety management would avoid having long queues formed at the exits and staircases of the airport terminal. Other means, such as clear exit signs, should be provided in the retail areas and arrival hall to ensure that the occupants can travel to the nearest exits with a shorter evacuation time.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)613-626
Number of pages14
JournalFire Safety Science
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2011
Event10th International Symposium on Fire Safety Science - College Park, MD, United States
Duration: 19 Jun 201124 Jun 2011


  • Airport
  • BuildingEXODUS
  • Egress
  • Modeling
  • Total evacuation time

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Building and Construction


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