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Life-cycle cost analysis of a short-haul underground freight transportation system for the DFW Airport

Seyed Ehsan Zahed (Department of Civil Engineering, University of Texas at Arlington, Arlington, Texas, USA)
Sirwan Shahooei (Department of Civil Engineering, University of Texas at Arlington, Arlington, Texas, USA)
Ferika Farooghi (Department of Civil Engineering, University of Texas at Arlington, Arlington, Texas, USA)
Mohsen Shahandashti (Department of Civil Engineering, University of Texas at Arlington, Arlington, Texas, USA)
Siamak Ardekani (Department of Civil Engineering, University of Texas at Arlington, Arlington, Texas, USA)

Built Environment Project and Asset Management

ISSN: 2044-124X

Publication date: 15 July 2019

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to conduct life-cycle cost analysis of a short-haul underground freight transportation (UFT) system for the Dallas Fort Worth international airport.

Design/methodology/approach

The research approach includes: identifying the cost components of the proposed airport UFT system; estimating life-cycle cost (LCC) of system components using various methods; determining life-cycle cash flows; evaluating the reliability of the results using sensitivity analysis; and assessing the validity of the results using analogues cases.

Findings

Although the capital cost of constructing an airport UFT system seems to be the largest cost of such innovative projects, annual costs for running the system are more significant, taking a life-cycle perspective. System administrative cost, tunnel operation and maintenance, and tunnel construction cost are the principle cost components of the UFT system representing approximately 46, 24 and 19 percent of the total LCC, respectively. The shipping cost is estimated to be $4.14 per ton-mile. Although this cost is more than the cost of transporting cargos by trucks, the implementation of UFT systems could be financially justified considering their numerous benefits.

Originality/value

This paper, for the first time, helps capital planners understand the LCC of an airport UFT system with no or limited past experience, and to consider such innovative solutions to address airport congestion issues.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This research was conducted under a grant from the North Central Council of Government (NCTCOG) and conducted by the Department of Civil Engineering of the University of Texas at Arlington. The contents of this report reflect the views of the authors, and the contents do not necessarily reflect the official view of NCTCOG. The authors acknowledge and appreciate NCTCOG’s guidance and funding.

Citation

Zahed, S.E., Shahooei, S., Farooghi, F., Shahandashti, M. and Ardekani, S. (2019), "Life-cycle cost analysis of a short-haul underground freight transportation system for the DFW Airport", Built Environment Project and Asset Management, Vol. 9 No. 3, pp. 440-456. https://doi.org/10.1108/BEPAM-10-2018-0125

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited