Passenger boarding is always part of the critical path of the aircraft turnaround: both efficient boarding and online prediction of the boarding progress are essential for a reliable turnaround progress. However, the boarding progress is mainly controlled by the passenger behavior. A fundamental scientific approach for aircraft boarding enables the consideration of individual passenger behaviors and operational constraints in order to develop a sustainable concept for enabling a prediction of the boarding progress. A reliable microscopic simulation approach is used to model the passenger behavior, where the individual movement is defined as a one-dimensional, stochastic, and time/space discrete transition process. The simulation covers a broad range of behaviors and boarding strategies as well as the integration of new technologies and procedures. Future cabin management systems will provide an enabling infrastructure to further improve the overall turnaround process and to allow for on-line prediction of specific handling processes. The paper provides a method to indicate the progress of the aircraft boarding. In this context, the aircraft seats are used as a sensor network with the capability to detect the status (free or occupied) of each seat. These individual seat statuses are used to derive an aggregated interference potential of the current seating condition with regards to the passenger seating process. The interference potential is a major indicator for the expected aircraft boarding time. In combination with an integrated airline/airport information management (e.g. sequence of boarding passengers) the boarding progress will be transformed from a black box to a transparent progress with the operator’s online ability to react to significant deviations from the planned progress.