Airport operators must leverage advances in technology to improve passenger operations, says Amor Group
Posted: 1 July 2010 | The BIG Partnership on behalf of Amor Group | No comments yet
A huge increase in airline passengers using mobile & online check-in is a major factor in…
A huge increase in airline passengers using mobile and online check-in is a major factor in airport operators utilising new technology to manage queues at security areas, according to a survey by aviation IT solutions provider Amor Group.
However, it concludes that if run correctly, airport security has more potential to add to an airport’s bottom line than any other operational process.
A total of 45 airports across the world took part in the questionnaire, which sought views on security operations, airport resources and challenges around better management of changing processes and efficiencies.
The results were revealed by Amor Group during a webinar session, which attracted participants from airports in the USA, UAE, the Netherlands, Norway, Australia, Greece, India, Italy, Qatar, Germany and Canada as well as the UK.
According to the findings, the rise in remote check-in and carry-on baggage means the first contact many airports have with some passengers is at security, which can lead to unexpected bottlenecks resulting from the change in the security procedures.
Most airport operators are trying to improve forecasting of passenger demand to enable them to develop more accurate and optimised resource plans.
The survey highlighted that the most common issues around resource management included a lack of passenger information or ways to analyse it, resulting in simplistic forecasting based on historical information and future flight schedules.
To address the lack of passenger information, operators are utilising more tools for monitoring patterns and tracking passenger movement.
Respondents to the survey said they are focusing on areas such as new forecasting or data modelling systems which can leverage historical information (37% of respondents); Bluetooth tracking (17%); or other types of passenger tracking to better predict demand, such as laser people counting, tracking cars parking and baggage trolley tracking (23%).
A webinar to analyse the survey results was hosted by Alan Hiddleston, Amor Group’s Airport Operations Specialist.
He said: “The continuing trend is the ongoing increase in web check-in, with up to 60% of passengers checking in online at some airports. This information is not always shared with the airport, so other data sources such as Bluetooth or even car parking systems can give intelligent information on where passengers are and their movement.”
“The changes in passenger behaviour being brought about by online check-in and mobile boarding passes mean that security is the primary process in a passenger’s journey through the terminal. Only by leveraging technology solutions can airports gain vital data to assist in tactical on the day planning of resource for the security process.
“As low-cost carriers continue to drive down aviation revenue, it becomes more critical to airport operators to increase non-aviation revenues, this results in increased pressure to process passengers more quickly and in a relaxed manner to ensure they are happy to spend in retail and concessions once they get airside.”
Almost a quarter of those surveyed (24%) said their greatest operation challenge was trying to do more work with the same number of staff, while 21% said the biggest test for their airports was being able to plan for operational changes at short notice.
Alan said: “Operators are looking for ways to measure service delivery and plan resources. Obviously it’s possible to optimise resources to match passenger demand by using strategic and practical planning tools.
“The demands of airports and regulators have accelerated advances in technology, not only to get more accurate measurements but also to provide technology that is less intrusive and has lower implementation costs.
‘’We have found that many operators are already embracing technology and need to continue to innovate and be proactive to maximise the value in their security processes.”
With a global client list including Heathrow, Frankfurt and Gatwick Airports, Amor Group is widely recognised for its pioneering solutions to remove bottlenecks within airports.
It recently secured a contract with Oslo Airport AS to provide its innovative PAXTrax+ solution to measure queues at the airport, with its Bluetooth technology partner, BLIP Systems.
Alan added: “Amor Group offers a number of innovative solutions and services for the aviation industry and we wanted to make sure these solutions continue to meet the demands of today’s challenging airport operations environment. We are grateful to everyone who took part in the survey and look forward gaining more feedback from the global aviation community.”
The webinar session and a whitepaper on the survey findings can be downloaded at www.amorgroup.com/SOAR