Xiaoqing Deng

Date of Award


Access Type

Thesis - Open Access

Degree Name

Master of Science in Aeronautics


Graduate Studies

Committee Chair

Dahai Liu, Ph.D.

First Committee Member

John M. Lanicci, Ph.D.


This paper introduced a Discrete Event Simulation (DES) model that simulates passengers’ evacuation paths and decision-making processes during aircraft certification. The model was built using ARENA® 14, which is a DES simulation tool. This model used A380 cabin configuration with capacity of 538 passengers. Each passenger was considered as an independent human being with variations in walking speed, decision-making processes, and evacuation path. This model generated total evacuation time and presented total congestion conditions of each gate. Federal Regulation has suggested that all passengers in the airplane should finish the evacuation within 90 seconds. The model was validated with the A380 certification evacuation, which was 78.2 sec. This model was tested and statistically validated for aircraft evacuation. However, the validation model has limitations in passengers’ freedom of choosing a gate. To advance the simulation, an experiment was conducted based on the modification of the validation model to simulate the effect on total evacuation time of passengers switching gates while waiting to exit. At the end of this paper, future study directions were suggested to innovate the baseline by adding human interactions and advanced methods in dynamic simulation technology.