Another small example from the case of overlapping airports.
In the image below we see Western Finland. It has three airports, Vaasa (VAA) - Kokkola (KOK) - Seinäjoki (SJY) . Each will have a 50 km catchment range and each of them will reach to catch the one lone square in the middle, marked in blue.
Well, firstly there's the need to calculate the destination where they wish to travel from that blue square. There are some 65 000 people living inside that blue area, and we'd need to calculate how often and most importantly where they wish to travel. This is the separate, most difficult, process. Let's skip it for now and assume from that square 100 people wish to travel to capital Helsinki every day. How would the people in the blue square choose their airport of departure?
This process would be kept rather simple preferrably...
Each airport cathing this square (the 3 mentioned) will also have a "desirability factor" for the people of this square. Currently this is simply calculated from the distance between the airport location and the centerpoint of the (blue) square. When distance is longer this factor is smaller. It is easy to take here into account also factors like airport size (size class or pax transported) if needed. Let's assume the desirability factor for each airport is "50/100" for the people of blue square...
The most simple solution would be that the 100 people going to capital are simply distributed according to the desirability factor. So each airport would then have demand to Helsinki of 33 people (since each airport has equal factor for this example).
Problem however is that if there are no flights from Kokkola to Helsinki for example. Naturally people would then drive to Vaasa for that rather than not fly. ..and this is were it goes complicated.
Basically the system would have to somehow take into account the actual routes and schedules of the players when it allocates the true demand between airports. With possible connections I am afraid this gets too heavy to calculate, so some more elegant solution would be preferrable.
Whatever the calculation solution, this is shown to players in something as follows:
- There would be two demand figures: current airport demand, potential area demand. Each is accessible normally by choosing dep and arr airports, and the system then combines this data of squares into similar display as currently, but two different figures:
- Airport demand is the current actual demand based on what airport people currently choose in the area.
- Potential area demand is the demand from the whole airport catchment area, ie. best case scenario when all people in the region choose this airport as dep point to fly to the chosen destination.
In our practical example as follows:
- If there are no flights from either of the three airports the demand from each airport to Helsinki would be 33. (if taking into account just this one square - for the sake of the example!)
- If I'd fly from Vaasa to HEL and there are no other airlines on this route (to any of these airports), I would first receive the 33 pax, but gradually it would move towards the full 100. In that case Kokkola-HEL would display airport demand (KOK-HEL) as zero, but potential demand as 100. (disregarding CI/RI effect etc. here!)
- If another airline would start KOK-HEL after I have acquired full demand (100) for Vaasa-HEL route; the demand would gradually start to shift back towards the even distribtion (since in this example the airports were equal in desirability).
...however this style of demand display has its problems, as players opening/searching routes may be put down by the display of zero demand and would prefer to choose the Vaasa-HEL instead - although they'd have 100% same chance of success in the KOK-HEL route. Could there be other options for this displaying then?
..as mentioned, how this gradual shift is actually done without crashing the servers, is yet to be solved.