Passengers at Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport in Little Rock, Arkansas are benefiting from a new technology introduced to streamline security processing. The new system, Airport iQueue, provided by SITA, uses real-time signals from passengers’ Wi-Fi and Bluetooth-enabled devices to measure the actual length of time it takes the average passenger to pass through the airport’s security checkpoint.
Airport iQueue detects passengers’ Wi-Fi and Bluetooth-enabled devices to measure wait times from the security checkpoint entry point to the exit. In addition, separate wait times are measured for each type of queue: Main, Priority, Pre-Check, and Crew. This information gathered helps to manage resources and reduce bottlenecks. Future plans include the ability to estimate wait times based on the current number of passengers in each queue, which will provide valuable information on congestion levels as they emerge, and alert passengers on the airport’s website to better manage their expectations.
“Airport iQueue provides empirical data of passengers’ total processing time at the checkpoint”, said Ronald F. Mathieu, executive director of Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport. “It is an excellent quality assurance tool that measures the total experience, not just queue waiting, with the information shared with TSA, airlines and the airport’s governing body for appropriate follow-up.”
While increasingly common at major European airports, Clinton National Airport is one of the very first airports to implement SITA’s Airport iQueue solution in the United States. The system is completely automatic and does not require any action by passengers other than to leave their Wi-Fi device enabled or their Bluetooth device in “discoverable” or “visible” mode. Airport managers can view the results on a real-time dashboard as well as analyze historical data to identify patterns and trends.
Paul Houghton, SITA President, Americas, commented: “Waiting at the security checkpoint is the number one source of frustration for passengers when flying. We at SITA have developed Airport iQueue to help reduce that frustration. Now the management team at the airport has actionable information that can be used to better manage resources and reduce congestion at the airport. For example, a threshold on wait times can be set so that once it is breached an alert prompts management to open a new channel.”
The system works by collecting the unique MAC address of Wi-Fi/Bluetooth-emitting devices, such as mobile phones, to determine the average wait time in the queue. The iQueue system respects data privacy and is truly anonymous with no personal information collected, transmitted or stored. It cannot associate an individual’s identity with the device they carry, and it does not collect signals from devices that are not operating in discovery mode or are turned off.