Reducing Energy Use & Maintenance Cost with On-demand Escalators and Moving Walkways

Many airports require passenger processing circulation patterns that use multiple floor levels and lengthy walking distances. To increase efficiency, capacity, and the quality of customer service, facility designers have employed a variety of mechanized circulation devices, including elevators, escalators, and moving walkways. In addition to the capital expenditure associated with these mechanized devices, they also consume energy, contribute to increased air emissions, and require maintenance. Escalators and moving walkways are designed under U.S. elevator and escalator codes (ASME A17.1a-2008) to operate in continuously moving modes as long as terminal facilities are open, which at major airports often equates to 24/7 operation, whether passengers are using the conveyances or not. This has been recognized to result in the unnecessary consumption of electricity, greater generation of air emissions, and increased maintenance costs. Many facilities outside the United States, including airports, feature "on-demand" passenger conveyance systems that sense passenger activity and either slow down or stop during periods with no demand, thereby reducing energy consumption, air emissions, and maintenance needs. These on-demand devices could prove to be beneficial at U.S. airports. The objectives of this research are to determine the potential benefits of on-demand escalators and moving walkways in terms of reduced energy use, air emissions, and maintenance costs, and to describe the implications of modifying elevator and escalator codes to permit these technologies in the United States.


  • English


  • Status: Proposed
  • Funding: $250000.00
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project 07-11

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Federal Aviation Administration

    800 Independence Avenue, SW
    Washington, DC  United States  20591

    Airport Cooperative Research Program

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC    20001
  • Start Date: 20111208
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 0
  • Source Data: RiP Project 29077

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01463248
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project 07-11
  • Files: TRB, RiP, USDOT
  • Created Date: Jan 3 2013 2:20PM