In these days planning at airports gets more and more complex. Different possibilities of applied processes and technologies have impact to the productivity of your infrastructure and resources. The important thing is not to implement by best guess, but to have accurate forecasts to rely on. Imagine know to have the opportunity working with a solution which is easy to use, so everybody can learn working with it. Planning was never this easy before and changes can be applied in real-time to elaborate and discuss results during a meeting or session.
Airport Planning Solution
AMORPH.aero Planning Solution optimally supports your daily work as an airport operations planner. Planning Studio allows you, between others, to evaluate changes in your terminal infrastructure in order to support the increasing number of passenger, determine optimal number, location and position of passenger process points, identify the ideal passenger flow to maximize your retail revenues, generate the long-term resource planning, identify optimal stand and gate allocation from the transfers point of view, etc…
Planning based on fast simulations, using on-scale terminal layout
Very easy and straightforward airport model editor
Evaluate terminal infrastructure changes
Generates optimum resource allocation to meet target KPIs
Just download, request a license and you are ready to easy and accurately plan your terminal operations.
Create your layout
The Studio allows you to create, edit and evaluate planning Projects. AMORPH.aero takes into account the exact terminal layout and comes with an easy, but very accurate, on-scale, multi-level terminal model editor. It’s very simple and fast to create your terminal model. In just a few hours of modeling your airport is ready for planning.
The core of solution is the detailed passenger flow simulation engine, proven to be the fastest available on the market. It executes with high speed (aprox. 1 min for a whole peak day with over 100.000 passengers per day) the agent-based passenger behavior-oriented pedestrian simulation model of your airport.
In order to compare different planning scenarios you can easily create scenarios within the built layout of your terminal. There you can import a new or edit an existing flight plan, as well as flight transfer tables or resource allocation for check-points.
Detailed reports support you in understanding the analysis results. The systems comes with passenger flow report, resource utilization and resource demand, waiting time and queue sizes, at each process point. Detailed process interdependencies and connection reports are also available. We continuously add new reports, based on our customer feedback!
Space limitation is one of the most important topics for the airport industry. According to IATA passenger forecasts, passenger numbers will double over the next 20 years. So even if we know that this growth will not be steadily rising and distributed equal among all regions, it will have a heavy impact on the existing capacity of many airports. So two of the main questions to ask are:
Is an airport physically and legally able to grow and not restricted yet?
If yes to question 1: When are new facilities really needed so when to start extension projects?
The timing is important as no one wants to waste funds in already built but not yet needed infrastructure as well as miss revenue because of too late finished extensions. Financial crisis back in 2007 brought some turbulence into those master plans, especially at some European airports. Many of them froze or postponed their extension plans, as the calculated ROI was no longer valid. They first needed some clear signals from the market to recover. The hard decision again is the right timing to restart the extension engine. The risk takers are now lucky to be in time, but all others are facing severe problems as the recovery process is getting faster and passenger amount are increasing continuously.
Cargo rates, who have been always seen as a pre-indicator for passenger volumes stabilized and start to grow again and even more: passenger growth even lagged cargo rates and recovered faster.
Now for some airports it is foreseeable: for the next years, the existing infrastructure will be working under heavy pressure as terminal capacities create a bottleneck situation.
But there comes something positive with this painful outlook:
Challenging conditions can stimulate the innovation process.
Why? The fact of not being able to change the surrounding conditions creates creativity and flexibility to deal with the existing in the best possible way. Some call this optimization. It´s up to the management then to set the framework for innovation to take place.
I remember pretty well in the past, working as a data analyst, I once discovered decreasing throughput rates at security checkpoint. Confronting the responsible manager with this, the answer was not like I expected: “Don´t make this public.” he said, “Otherwise we would be forced to build more security lanes to handle the demand. We can´t afford this”. I was confused as I thought more about: “Hey, let´s go out there and find out why this is happening and how we can change it”. People are sometimes not acting in aspect to take the change as a challenge. If you do so, you will find tons of topics to improve. Now beside process related improvements, data driven optimizations are getting more and more important. The big data hype is in everyone´s ears and yes, smart solutions are needed to step through this mess of data. Otherwise your data analysts will soon get flooded with requests they can´t fulfill because of the wrong tool-set, not empowering them to create fast and accurate results.
Data Exploration and Collaboration
Not only since Google, Amazon and co. we all know: data is the key! Data availability plays an important role in particular in the aviation industry as well. Compared to other industries, the amount of stakeholders make things more complex and planning a long lasting process. This requires a general commitment on conditions and purpose between each other’s. The biggest step is to convince everybody in place, that only with collaboration they will succeed. Most airlines are not able to survive without their home base and vice versa. Even federal institutions, although they always neglect, profit from a prospering airport. So why don´t they share data and analytic competences? The analysis of already available and future required data is important to ensure competitiveness and deliver first class services now and in the future. Once the necessity has been established and agreements are set, this opens the door to a wide range of possibilities to learn and optimize the whole process chain. In the end, it is the passenger who will benefit from optimized processes and an even more passenger-centric communication.
State of the art Technology
Therefore, let´s have a realistic view. Google glasses & co. won´t bring terrific changes to the aviation industry. This might look sexy to some technical directors, creating the image of an innovative company. The real innovations are others and some smart companies like Amorph Systems are already working on it. One of the key drivers of BI in the past and in the future is about empowering people to speed up their decision process. Analytic tools are getting more and more visualized, real-time data fed and easy to use, so Amorph Systems applications are.
The clue with their products is: they are stable and fast running so they can be used for operational purpose as well as for analytic research. You will never work disconnected again. Planners and Operational people can work with the same interfaces and tool-set to increase the whole process.
With the platform Amorph.aero you can run passenger forecasts for all required points of interest in your airport, in operational mode. This creates visibility and enhances reaction time for operational managers to adopt their processes and resources to upcoming changes. Integrated with What-If Simulation functionality, end-users are able to check their adjustments first before bringing them live. This will enhance workforce productivity for airports and all involved stakeholders, reduce waiting times for passengers and as a positive effect improve the retail revenue.
Installed at Frankfurt Airport this is part of an innovative approach in the BI strategy of the airport. Frankfurt airport was one of the first in the industry exploring this Big Data challenge, containing real-time BI with our agent-based simulation.
Focusing on security checkpoints, Frankfurt Airport managed to increase capacity up to 15% by using operational passenger flow forecasting.
Beside that we now that every airport is unique. With our simulation and optimization experience and the business know how about airport and terminal operations we create value to your business by integrating your individual requirements and needs into a tailored solution.
If you want to learn more about our products and services don´t wait, get in touch with us at:
A plan is a plan … and planning at airports is complex and determined by a large variety of partners and constraints. While effective planning of resources and future capacity constraints is very important still there is flexibility needed on the day of operations. Keeping the balance between planning and operational flexibility is easier said than done. For the full power at Day of Ops, operational decision making is an important task. Talking to operational people makes clear why. I once asked someone from terminal operations about a typical day and he just said: ” You have changing passenger behavior, different delays every day and daily disruptive situations to react on, so I can definitely say that every day is different, but not according to the plan!”
What does that mean for operations?
Just imagine the following situation: Monday morning 07 A.M. in front of the immigration desks at an airport. As it was suspected to be a normal Monday morning, the surprise is even bigger seeing a mass of passengers and the hall starts running full. Everybody is doing it´s best to handle the crowd, but finally it took about 60 minutes waiting time for the passengers.
After the day passed by, administration is working to analyze the root causes for this disruptive event. Finally they found out: One A380 has been delayed and a 747 came too early. This is normally nothing special, but in this case they overlapped with other flights within a peak. Therefore there had been additionally 700 passengers on top of this existing peak.
Now after knowing what happened, the discussion starts how to be better prepared for such situations in the future. Planning department states, that these events can´t be planned as they change from day to day. Operations department argue that if they would have the possibility to foresee some hours before they could start to work on preventive actions. Additionally they would also need transparency about the consequences of chosen actions.
The positive outcome for plannings is to reduce the gathering of the unpredictable. There are parameters which will change every day so why not concentrate on those parameters you can really predict and set the frame-set for operation how to react if disruptions occur.
What about a solution where you can see all changes of inbound and outbound flights, the dependencies between process points, the effects of different passenger behavior, the results of passenger flow actions. Wouldn´t this be the chance to react always according to the actual demand upcoming for the next hours?
Based on our high-efficient simulation engine, Amorph.aero is able to assist live on all flight schedule changes to create the transparency needed for in-time reaction to prevent disruptive situations. With our proven solution what-if scenarios can be applied to evaluate the results of different actions to balance the passenger flow. Following our slogan “Foresee – Decide – Inform” our system empowers airport operations to boost their workforce productivity.
Do you think this could be useful at your airport as well? Don´t hesitate to contact us and we will get in touch with you personally to talk about further details.
In the high-tech manufacturing industry it is quite normal to measure every tiny little step a product is in process. Every machine, sensor, system is sending data which can be used to analyze and optimize the current production process.
As airports are like big factories with different process steps and stakeholders the aim is still the same, to get data about those activities. In some cases like baggage handling systems this works quite well, others face a severe problem: the human factor. Most of the landside processes are driven by passengers using infrastructure and services. They don´t act like pieces on an assembly line which is good for the individual, but bad for airport operators that have to deal with.
According to the statement “You can´t handle what you don´t measure” there is for some years now the trend to implement measurement solutions on airports to gain more and more data about these process steps and support terminal operation processes.
Looking at the available techniques and the costs of implementation, it is necessary to have a look at detailed use cases, to decide what and where to install. The bandwidth of technologies vary from WiFi passenger tracking, camera-based people counting to thermal sensors and so on…
Comparing all those available technologies most managers will decide for the solution with the highest business value with respect to the supplied use cases. One fact is always stated wrong I would like to point out:
You can´t use them for operations!
But let´s first have a look on the beneficial side of passenger counting and tracking.
First of all there is a definite value in gaining data of the landside process steps in order to enrich the analytic opportunities. Combining this with your already existing data allows business analytics to get a bigger picture of dependencies especially between airside and landside processes. As a result, planning departments are able to work more in collaboration, understanding more clearly the effects of the various changes for the whole system.
Measuring the overall performance of airports with a lot of KPI´s reflecting different process responsibilities, these data are essential for QM. Measured or calculated KPI´s like waiting times, dwell times, throughput are standard parameters for the performance and quality of landside processes at Airports. They are getting even more important as retail claimed to be the most significant profit contributor for bigger airports. Every minute lost in a queue means a loss of revenue to retail and subsequently a loss of profit for airports.
Improving daily operations
Another aim of measurement technologies is to help airport / terminal operations to improve their daily business. This can work by learning from past experiences how deviations influenced operational processes. This is quite comparable to the business intelligence aspect in order to optimize the passenger process by analyzing historical data. As every day is a bit different, this gets soon very complex and does only slightly help operational people in their daily business.
However, measurement technologies can only show what is happening now – but then it is already too late.
If airport operations want to work in a preventive mode, they must act pro-actively to manage changes before disruptions even happen. This requires another technical approach.
Ideally terminal operation managers should work with forecasted passenger demand to have time for scenario decision making and stakeholder communication. The measured data is then just the quality assurance of these forecasts.
The specialty of an agent-based solution to prepare this forecast is the flexibility to integrate every relevant parameter according to real passenger behavior. This capability allows to forecast also waiting times, dwell times and connectivity, something which is not possible just with mathematical optimization.
Amorph Systems is currently the only provider of such a fast agent-based solution, able to run a whole operational day under one minute. The high quality of these outputs ensure that operational managers have always the best data available to create a great passenger experience – and that´s all that matters at the end.
Since some years, device tracking technologies flood not only but also the aviation market to get insights about consumers. Whether you are visiting a shopping centre, your supermarket or an airport flying from: if you carry on your smartphone, your data is used to get insights about your behaviour. This information is normally used for analytics and optimization of offerings & services. Supermarkets are testing their campains by getting insights how successful certain product placements are. In the aviation world mostly airports try to evaluate dwell & waiting times at certain check-points. Now this could be over soon!
During May this year, after quite a long working period over years, the new directive for data privacy & protection (GDPR) EU2016/679 passed the European commission. This law which intense to protect the private user data in the digital world, could change the before mentioned use cases dramatically. The industry has two years’ time until May 2018 to adopt to these new regulations and requirements to ensure the data privacy laws.
Let me give a very brief overview of the most important changes which will affect the aviation industry:
No Device Allocation / Tracking without permission
Concerning the aspect of device allocation with the intension to re-use for consumer analytics, this won´t be allowed, even in an anonymised way, without the explicit permission of the user beforehand. This means that every user must be informed via text message about the tracking request, with the option to decline (Opt-out). This will create a high effort to ensure this pre-notification and additionally will probably reduce also the penetration rate as it is obvious that some users won´t allow to use their allocation data for any other purpose than their own location services.
A very important change is that this directive hast to be applied by all companies offering services in the EU. Instead of the past situation, where the county member´s data privacy legislation came into account where your corresponding headquarters was allocated in the EU, this will create stability in terms of a unique regulation for all county member states. In addition, every company from the U.S. to China (or anywhere else) must apply this data privacy rules when offering services in the EU. This is a huge advantage to ensure equal competition with European companies.
Higher penalty fees
Also the fines for violation against this regulation have been increased within this directive with up to 4% of the yearly revenue or a maximum of 20 Million Euro. If you wondered until now why you should pay attention to this regulation, now you know. These fines could extremely harm your business either you are a small vendor, or a large company group. The commission also makes no difference here whether the violation is caused by the head company or any subsidary of a company group.
How to react?
As this EU law came into force in May this year, all respective companies / institutions have two years’ transition phase until May 2018 to apply these rules. The EU commission suggest for bigger companies also to ensure internal data privacy officers taking care for the appliance. Specifically for airports it is quite manageable, as they rarely obtain data from passengers directly with some security relevant exceptions. Just in case you already have installed, or are thinking about, passenger tracking technologies to measure waiting times at security, or to get insights about retail behaviour: be careful. The concept to use the passenger´s device to do so won´t be a practical way in the future.
If you decide for Amorph Systems, all our solutions are compliant with the upcoming laws and regulations. With our unique forecasting technology, we make sure that you won´t lose analytic capabilities and predictive insights about passengers and consumers and all this without tracking them. You want to know how? Then just ask us under email@example.com and we will be happy to assist you.
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.
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.
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.
Finavia 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.
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.