AMORPH.aero: Successful Installation @ Helsinki Airport

Airports worldwide face significant growth figures in passenger numbers. IATA (International Air Transport Association) expects 3.8 billion passengers traveling by 2030. For airports, this leads to a challenge, providing the required infrastructure for smooth passenger handling. Airport expansions and infrastructure programs need to be planned years ahead. In the meantime, it is necessary to ensure the most efficient use of resources and facilities. Especially during the day of operations, efficient handling of resources depends very much on updated information and the capability to react to sudden changes. Empowering operations to plan ahead for the upcoming hours, Amorph Systems is the first provider of operational simulations, forecasting what is going to happen in the whole terminal environment. This keeps operations managers in the driver seat of their decisions to prevent disruptive situations before they occur.

Helsinki Airport

Helsinki Airport, operated by Finavia Corp., is Finland’s main hub and a strong transfer connection between Asia and Europe.  Due to its geographical location, Helsinki is the quickest route between Asia and Europe, serving several routes to Japan, China, Thailand and others. 18 million passengers travel via Helsinki Airport. Based on this growing demand, Finavia has plans to extend in the future he airport capacity to handle more than 30 million passengers per year. Helsinki Airport has not only ambitious plans to grow, in parallel they want to offer a first-class service to their passengers. Keeping waiting times at security at a minimum, establishing easy wayfinding and inspiring areas to spend time, Helsinki is creating a key differentiator to ensure continuous growth in the future.

Amorph Systems in Stuttgart, Germany, has proven to be a trusted international partner offering professional software solutions and consulting services for air and ground transportation, logistics and high-tech manufacturing. Its portfolio includes advanced control, simulation, forecasting and optimization solutions, allowing our clients to better manage and plan their business operations. Besides the state of the art control and modeling techniques, these solutions require sophisticated visualizations and user interfaces fully integrated with the customer IT systems. With AMORPH.aero, Amorph Systems offers an aviation specific platform tailored to the needs of airports, from planning to operations, taking the rising amount of available data into account.

The AERFOR-Project is granted within the European Union’s HORIZON 2020 SME Instrument phase 2. The main targets of the project are to show the capabilities of AMORPH.aero, the operational simulation platform, to airports and to develop AMORPH.aero into an innovative standard software solution for further and strengthened commercialization within the European and International market. Various partners from the aviation industry such as Finavia, Fraport AG, Zurich airport and the DLR are part of the project.

Finavia was the first AERFOR trial partner. The project in Helsinki consisted of various areas from operational simulation to support the terminal operations managers, to planning solutions for short-, mid-, and long-term planning. The base installation of AMORPH.aero at Finavia helped to further standardize the solution and implementation process. With additional functionalities, the project achieved to set-up a groundbreaking solution which is the first of its kind. In the future this will include also various use-cases on top of operational control, like advertising and retail and thereby, Amorph Systems and Helsinki Airport together will show the full capabilities of AMORPH.aero.

See what the participants say about the project:

“The installation at Helsinki Airport has shown the full potential of simulation through all stages of operational and planning processes. We are delighted about this fruitful partnership with Finavia, which shows a similar mindset in being creative and innovative. Finavia wants every day to improve life for its passengers, so we do for our customers. The created solution is a milestone and will play a key role at Helsinki Airport to improve their daily operations and in a long-term, by added flexibility, a significant business value. Together we already made an impressive journey and I am very curious about what is going to come in the future.”

Andreas Hofmann, Director Business Development at Amorph Systems.

 “From the outset, it has been a very ambitious journey with the purpose of building us a capability to see into the near and more distant future, and utilize this capability for better capacity planning, resource allocation, terminal operation and more relevant passenger communication. To fulfill these expectations across multiple dimensions would not have been possible without the committed and highly talented Amorph team, with whom we had the privilege to work with. Now, we have a strong solution running, with a truly inspiring roadmap that will hopefully take the Helsinki Airport experience to new and unseen heights.”

Eero Knuutila, Head of Service Development at Finavia

HOW TO GET YOUR OPS PEOPLE RELAXED AGAIN!

wrapped in telephonesFor the most of us, the summer season is the time we are looking forward to. This period means normally having vacation, travelling, spending time with the kids and just recharging the own batteries. But: the summer time is also the high season for airports and airlines. In those weeks, when everybody else is looking for relaxation, especially airport ops people are under high pressure. For example lots of European airports face their maximum capacity during this time. This means a lot of stress for the Terminal Ops, as they are responsible for safe and fluent operations in the terminal. Stress is something individual and there are multiple factors that creates this stress, but there are also ways to handle it. I think it is very important not to neglect things and go over these factors as continuous stress can easily lead into depression or burn-out. Thus an employer should do the best he can to support their people, especially those facing the customer. Every passenger will acknowledge if, even in a stressful situation, he has been treated with respect and patience. So after the summer break, there should start a lessons learned phase, what to improve and how to support operations.

Good Planning

glasbowlTo be honest: It all starts with a good planning. Summer peaks are like Christmas, they are not really surprising. Only some conditions might change, but the peaks will keep the same.

To evaluate those changes you don´t have to be Merlin or looking into a magic glass bowle.

Therefore, the right tools can help you to get things done in an easy and accurate way. The times when planners had to work with multiple systems, spreadsheets and heavy engine simulations that took weeks to get some results are over. Smart planning tools can assist everybody to have a look on changing ressources, capacity constraints or new procedures. Ideally this planning system is connected and able to communicate with operational tools to hand-over scenarios and their results.

Prepared Processes

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copyright: Fraport AG

Based on the evaluation from the planning department about the upcoming summer, processes have to be set-up to meet the customer requirements and the own service levels during that time. This means: planning with higher amount of staff for check-points, defined steering actions to handle overflows as well as special offers for travelers.

It is very important to have a look at the passenger profile which might be different in that period than others. Probably first-time flyers and families are not that fast at security than business & frequent travelers. This affects throughput rates at security with a negative impact on the maximum capacity. The other side is that those passengers have special needs which an airport should prepare on. Frankfurt airport for e.g. introduced several offers for kids in combination with the federal police of Germany to make travelling smoother and an interesting event for kids. All this together is a big challenge to cover, but not unattainable.

Predictive Analytics

Predictive Analytics 16:9Now when talking about Smart Planning you could think now it´s all fine, Ops people don´t have to be worried at all. The problem during the operational day at airports are the deviations from the plan. Already little delays like e.g. two 747, one too early the other too late and thereby both coming at the same time can cause heavy trouble. When talking with operational people one of the biggest stress factors is uncertainty during their shifts. Being always in a reactive mode, acting as a fire fighter to deal with upcoming issues when they occur is a permanent pressure situation. But it doesn´t have to be like this: Predictive analytics can reduce stress by forecasting passenger flows. These forecasts help Ops people to handle topics long before they are going to happen.

I remember exactly when working myself for Frankfurt airport, people told me that they feel brutally lost with upcoming delays, not knowing about the effects on the landside and the inherited passenger flows. This created stress upfront when ops people saw just by numbers to face a busy day. By integrating predictive technologies and tools these eliminate the feeling of uncertainty and create situational awareness. After having installed such a solution at Frankfurt airport, terminal control said that compared to the past now they are relaxed even when passenger numbers grow to new high-time peaks.

Collaborative Platform

collaboration3Now Total Airport Management (TAM) is in discussion since years and would mean that everybody in this complex business environment shares data and information. Planners, Operations, Airports & Airlines, Federal Police and Customs, Handlers, …

And yes, things are moving in this direction and collaborative work already begun. There are some good examples of those in the industry. To make this dream come true it´s important to choose the right technology behind which supports this demand and is able to scale up as the specific airport and it´s players need it.

Therefore we created the AMORPH.aero collaborative platform. This platform enables all parties to work on their tasks like planning scenarios or operational actions and share them with each other to update the whole process chain. The aim is always to optimize the ecosystem airport, based on the latest available data.

If you need more information about the collaborative platform, and the inherited solutions please contact us at info@amorphsys.com We will be glad to hear from you and probably you will be surprised what we can do for you.

AERFOR – AN EU PROJECT FOR AVIATION BY AMORPH SYSTEMS

Amorph Systems is delighted to announce the start of their EU-funded project “AERFOR” at 1st of November 2016 which is granted within Horizon 2020 SME Instrument phase 2.  Horizon 2020 is the biggest EU programme for research & innovation with 80 billion Euro spent between 2014 – 2020. This flagship programme of the EU aims to bring innovative ideas from lab to market to ensure global competiveness. Especially through a dedicated SME instrument, Horizon 2020 funds high-potential innovation, which offers seamless business innovation support under the section Societal Challenges and the specific part Leadership in Enabling and Industrial Technologies (LEITs).

Selection of Excellence

At the call Amorph Systems participated there have been lots of companies sending their ideas and businesses how to improve within the variety of different areas offered by the EU to support. The acceptance criteria were high, but Amorph Systems managed to be under the 5%, or within the 48 out of 969 companies, that have been selected. The Horizon2020 commission highlighted especially the excellent preparation and foreseen impact of the innovation provided by Amorph Systems on the European market towards global challenges.

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The idea of AERFOR  – Advanced Forecasting System for Proactive Airport Passenger Flow Management

Airports, especially in Europe, are facing a common problem of increasing passenger numbers versus limited space and capacity. In the long term, new infrastructure must be built to cover this demand. Until a new building is up and running it takes years’ where the existing capacity should be used as efficient as possible. This requires smart and innovative approaches which enhance of operating on the highest possible productivity.

During the last years, the engineers at Amorph Systems developed the innovative software product AMORPH.aero. For airport operators, the AMORPH.aero software continuously forecasts passenger flows in airport buildings for a certain period (24 hours forecast in a rolling mode every 3 minutes). The system has been developed for the reference customer FRAPORT and is very successfully implemented in the large airport of Frankfurt since summer 2011. Because of the great success of AMORPH.aero at Frankfurt airport and very positive feedback from several big international airports, AMORPH.aero shall now be further developed to a fully featured standard software product and established successfully into the European and International market.

AERFOR Phase 1 – Feasibility Study

Therefore, as a first step, during timeframe from October 2014 until February 2015, Amorph Systems conducted a feasibility study including a business plan for AMORPH.aero that clearly defines the conditions, strategy and measurements for the going-to-market and business development.

During the creation of the feasibility study for AMORPH.aero a lot of know-how about the market and business situation as well as the requirements according to forecasting and prediction solutions within airports were collected and thus a sound technical concept and business plan have been created.

Aerfor Phase 2 – Preparation for Commercialisation

The next step consists in realizing this business plan and bring the AMORPH.aero solution successfully to the European and international market. Especially winning pilot customers will be one of the most important targets to be reached within the next 2 years.

Benefits for Airports

As part of the implementation at a customer side there have been identified several benefits, which lead to a monetary and quality improvements:

  • Accurate and always updated information of future passenger flows in the entire airport to prevent future problems. This information can be used for the reduction of waiting times at check points by means of active interventions (e.g. flight gate changes, bus gate changes, active re-routing of passengers through changes in route indications, etc.).
  • Optimization of resource capacities (e.g. personnel at process points) and thereby significant cost savings.
  • Better use of available resources and by that the possibility to reduce, to delay or to completely avoid investments in infrastructure (e.g. omit construction measures).product_benefits
  • Fast and right-on time plan adjustments in case of flight delays or other disturbances in the airport operation.
  • Significant increase of customer satisfaction through the possibility of proactive control of passenger flows and avoidance of queuing at service points.
  • Increase of retail sales through “relaxed” passengers and active control of passenger movements.

 

The utilization at airports depends strongly on the internal procedures with other stakeholders like Federal police and security companies. In general there is a rising demand to interact within Airport Operational Control Centres (AOCC) between all relevant parties. Therefore, it is strongly necessary to work on common data for planning and operational decision making.flow

Based on our innovative approach to support the interactive decision process at airports, we are proud to be part of the European framework for research & innovation to make Europe smarter to ensure European companies deliver first class technology to the world.

If you want to learn more about our AERFOR project, please don´t hesitate to get in touch with us.

Happy Anniversary – 5 years AMORPH.aero @ Frankfurt airport

 

Fraport AG

Times goes by and some things get outdated, other more mature. We are happy to go into the 5th year with operational decision support for Frankfurt airport terminal operations.

Since the beginning, the product of Amorph Systems was a turn-key solution for Fraport AG and the participating stakeholders like Security companies and Federal Police, responsible for security and border control at Frankfurt airport.

Running in the Frankfurt Operations Center, the Heart of the Airport, it provides continuously updated forecasts on the passenger flow throughout the whole airport. The forecasted demand  is  therefore correlated with all relevant parameters and inter-dependencies between process points to get dynamic predictions and KPI´s. This enables Terminal Operations to steer passenger flows and set-up corrective actions before problems occur.

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The good relationship between Amorph Systems and Fraport AG leads to continuous enhancements of the existing solution, covering value adding integration like the implementation of retail behavior into the forecast model.

Reed the full story at www.amorph.aero

There are more things to come, so stay tuned and we will keep you informed!

AMORPH.aero @ Helsinki airport

Amorph Systems is delighted to announce the installation of its AMORPH.aero suite, currently running in pilot mode, at Helsinki Airport together with operating authority Finavia.

Helsinki airportFinavia decided to develop its operational passenger flow prediction capabilities to improve transparency of the day of operations. Therefore, Finavia is trialing the AMORPH.aero platform to see how the Frankfurt airport proofed solution can help to support operational processes at Helsinki airport as well.

 

The Product

AMORPH.aero platform can enhance the operational collaborative processes and help to handle future growth in passenger volumes by using existing capacity efficiently through pro-active decision making. Therefore AMORPH.aero takes all relevant data and updates into account and uses agent-based simulation technologies to provide accurate demand forecasts for operations. By integrating frequently used operational decisions, these can be tested by what-if scenarios before applying them to live systems and resource disposition.

We will be happy to present a more detailed project description soon on our webpage and within one of our future releases of the Newsletter.