Keflavik airport in Iceland, in partnership with AI technology firm, Veovo, in July of this year implemented a solution tailored towards managing a post Covid-19 pandemic, normal. Veovo’s new AI powered passenger forecasting software comes packed into the firm’s Airport Intelligent Platform, promising to help KEF bolster capacity planning and operational efficiency. Giving passengers a sense of confidence in their safety during travel.
There’s no denying it, the Covid-19 pandemic has changed the way we do things. With lockdown regulations impacting international business and travel, we find ourselves having to figure out a new normal. Minimising crowding – in the name of social distancing – while being able to predict and manage how crowds will move through airports (and other public hubs) seems to have become more important than ever.
“Traditionally, airports have focused on specific areas to evaluate efficiency and improve capacity. For instance, measuring wait times at security checkpoints to try and adjust resourcing to improve throughput. However, measuring and reacting to a single bottleneck doesn’t explain why it is happening, or the impact of those decisions on the entire airport experience.” – James Willamson, CEO, Veovo told International Airport Review.
The crowd management component of Veovo’s software suite harnesses the power of Artificial Intelligence to gather information from an airport’s existing airline schedules, booking files, Airport Operational Databases, boarding pass scans, and various other sensor technologies geared towards crowd management. This piece of software augments an Airport’s ability to manage passenger movement through their facility by delivering an accurate, per flight, forecast of how people will move through Arrival and Departure terminals.
Veovo’s solution re-forcasts every 5 minutes and alerts operators to any arising issues. This function operates by searching through live data according to preprogrammed parameters, thus enabling Airport operators to develop effective, on-the-spot, countermeasures to problems, as they occur.
“Thanks to our continued partnership with Keflavík Airport, we have been able to quickly launch these new enhancements to our Intelligent Airport Platform. We’re delighted they’ve been able to realise the benefits of real-time passenger forecasts since re-opening their borders to most travellers last month.” – Williamson
The system is able to go as far as recommending resourcing and operational game plans to deal with bottlenecks and overcrowding; changing call-to-gate times, reallocating baggage belts, etc. It also enables the airport to understand the reasons for deviations from standard operational regimen (late arrivals, sick passengers, that sort of thing). The software even records data from the event causing deviation from the operational plan, and utilises it to improve future forecasts. It’s like something out of science fiction.
The software sports an easy-to-use, configurable dashboard, visual dashboard that allows all airport partners to keep abreast of local goings-on. The system can also be customized to an airport’s available data collecting technology, as well as planning needs, no expertise required to operate the flow management software.
Kevlavik was merely the first to adopt the system, and was soon followed by a host of Airport Operators, which include Birmingham, Bristol, Amsterdam, among others. “With growing passenger volumes, airports are under pressure to either expand their physical resources or make much better use of existing capacity. From a practical standpoint, improving efficiencies and optimising asset usage is not only the more straightforward option, but also the more cost- and time-effective option,” said Willamson, of the needs of airports, under the new normal.