Heliports and seaplane bases are relatively small infrastructures able to serve medium or low volumes of regional traffic in poor accessible areas or in zones just located to the next proximity of the urban areas. The spatial extension of the airside is directly connected with the costs of the infrastructure and it is primarily determinate by the type of aircraft that uses the infrastructure and secondarily by the design expected traffic. The helicopter infrastructure is far smaller than that required for airplanes and seaplanes, since the first doesn’t suffers the lateral wind on the approach and landing direction. On the other hand, the rotorcraft suffers operative costs largely high than the seaplane. This study aims to develop a methodology to compare the feasibility of helicopter and seaplane regular transport of passengers towards destinations across a remote regional tourist context. In order to identify the service users, the authors use the results of a modal split model identifying the quota of passengers that potentially could use these two type of services, determined on the basis of previous studies on air transport demand. After the identification of the potential users, a technical analysis regarding transport supply is performed to identify the predominant features that should characterize helicopter/seaplane performances. The analysis focuses on capacity, fuel consumption and total cost per kilometre (taking account of fixed, variable and commercial costs together with those relative to labour force ATC and land-side services, flight infrastructure costs), but also on whether conditions that influence greatly the performance of fixed wing aircrafts. Subsequently an optimization model is applied to identify the routes that could overcome the breakeven point considering each of the two means of transport. Finally, the inference on the results allows drawing conclusions on the importance of each type of service and on the influence on it of flight infrastructure costs.
|Number of pages||0|
|Publication status||Published - 2014|