Airport Cuts Wait Times by Half using High-tech Sensors

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With the help of Bluetooth/Wi-Fi sensors from Denmark-based BLIP Systems and best practice security checkpoint planning, Genève Aéroport (GVA) has been able to reduce waiting times by half, and increase satisfactory performance days more than five times.

BlipTrack GUI

It has has allowed us to plan for the days ahead, but also to make unique daily plans for a whole year in advance.

Genève Aéroport (GVA), which is the 2nd busiest airport in Switzerland, has taken the passenger experience and operational efficiency to higher levels. By end of 2014, GVA improved the existing security checkpoint layout and process and increased the number of staff to cater for the increasing number of passengers. With these measures, GVA has been able to reduce the average waiting time at security by 51% from an average of 7 minutes to 3.5 minutes. In addition, the airport has increased the number of days with satisfactory performance more than five times (from 54 days in 2014 to 297 days in 2015).

Equally, in 2014 a strategic decision was taken to optimize the planning and performance evaluation of the security checkpoints at GVA. The airport adopted a combined solution from Denmark-based BLIP Systems and Copenhagen Optimization (C-OPT), to optimize the utilization of the resources and create operational and managerial visibility with the help of real-time measurements and advanced data intelligence.

At GVA, which annually handles over 15 million passengers, C-OPT is delivering unique, daily security checkpoint plans on a no cure – no pay contract. The work of C-OPT includes passenger forecasts converted into a lane opening plan securing the waiting time SLA as well as staff demand plans. The BlipTrack solution and the C-OPT Security Performance Evaluation Tool, also known as SPET, allows GVA to evaluate the performance of the checkpoints on a daily basis.

The combined solution measures and analyses all the key factors for queue development, such as real-time queue and dwell time measurements, using BlipTrack Bluetooth / Wi-Fi sensors, passenger forecasts vs actual, how actual opening of lanes complies with the plan and production per lane. The insights enable the airport to evaluate why the queue evolved like it did and to analyze where to focus on improvements.

With this information, the airport is today able to quickly pinpoint the drivers of poor performance, such as inaccurate forecasting or the lack of staff. It has enabled GVA to better plan staffing patterns and response promptly and effectively to irregular operations and disruptions, preventing bottlenecks.

“The security planning organization has been taken to new levels with accurate and trusted plans. This has allowed us to plan for the days ahead, but also to make unique daily plans for a whole year in advance. This has significantly increased the quality of the budgeting and capacity planning.” says Ruben Jimenez, Head of Security at Genève Aéroport.

The improvements have enabled GVA to set new ambitious standards of service. Today the airport aims for 85% of all passengers experiencing less than seven minutes of waiting time in the security process and that no passengers are allowed to wait more than 20 minutes.

“BlipTrack and C-OPT have provided us with powerful tools which have allowed us to gain a good understanding of the security check-point dynamics. In combination with the operational experience of our security staff, we work in a more and more proactive way. And most importantly our customers benefit directly by getting better service. We are looking forward to have BLIP Systems and C-OPT by our side on our way forward.” says Anita Filli, Project Manager Landside Operations.

“The cooperation with Genève Aéroport has brought significant results for C-OPT as well as for Genève Aéroport. We are looking forward to continuing our cooperation in the future and enable Genève Aéroport to adopt our approach to planning through the use of the suite of planning tools from C-OPT” says Kasper Hounsgaard, Managing Partner at Copenhagen Optimization.

“We value the long-term cooperation with Genève Aéroport and their professional and innovative approach in using data to ensure efficient operations and passenger satisfaction. It has been a privilege to work with such dedicated people, from the first BlipTrack installations at Central Security to now include several other airport processes, and from being used solely for measurements to also include prediction. We look forward to be a part of Genève Aéroport ´s ongoing plan in becoming one of Europe's most progressive and service-minded airports,” says Kim Hermansen, Engineer at BLIP Systems.

BlipTrack is successfully employed in optimization efforts in more than 25 international airports, including Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam, JFK Airport in New York, Toronto Pearson, Dubai, El-Prat Airport in Barcelona, Dulles Airport in Washington, Copenhagen, Oslo, Malpensa and Linate Airports in Milano, Manchester, Brussels, Dublin, San Diego, Helsinki, Auckland, Berlin, Montreal, Genève, Birmingham, Bristol, Cincinnati, Brussels South Charleroi, Keflavik, Billund and Aalborg. The solution is also implemented in road traffic in Switzerland, New Zealand, USA, UK, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Canada and Ireland. In recent years, the solution has also been rolled out in ports in Denmark and UK, train stations in Holland, ski resorts in USA, amusement parks, and at events all over the world.

About BLIP Systems:
BLIP Systems is a privately-held information technology company with headquarters in Vester Hassing near Aalborg, Denmark. The company was founded in 2003 as a management buy-out of the Bluetooth activities within L. M. Ericsson Denmark. It was established with a vision of using new connectivity possibilities in mobile devices, such as Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, to deliver proximity services to end-users. Today, BLIP Systems is one of the leading providers of data analytic tools to transform traveler flow into value, and creating easy-to interpret decision-making tools of end-users. The in-house designed BlipTrack solution consists of high-tech sensors, a hosted analysis platform and a web-based user-interface.

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Christian Bugislaus Carstens
@bliptrack
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