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Before you invest

Published on  12 March by Kevin Peterson , Senior Product Manager, Airport Solution Line, SITA
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Thinking about passenger flow management? Read this before you invest!

It’s no secret that airports want happy passengers, relaxed and spending money in their retail areas. Figures from JD Power make it quite clear why - passengers who are very satisfied with an airport tended to spend up to 45% more in retail outlets. Hence the desire to move passengers through checkpoints as quickly as possible. Further, industry figures indicate that an extra 10 minutes spent at security may reduce retail spend by as much as 30%.

The benefits are clear but when it comes to choosing a passenger flow technology to invest in airports are faced with many options. So, which technology is the one to go for?

Over the past few years I have worked closely with more than 20 leading airports and multiple providers around the world, to fine tune the latest technologies available to support smart decision-making that improves the flow of passengers through an airport. We’ve deployed systems that use Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, thermal cameras, automated metal detector (AMD) interfaces, and multiple video analytics solutions. We have learned a lot! And as part of SITA’s commitment to provide value to the community, our experience has now been shared.

Late last year, I worked with Rolf Felkel, Vice President Airside, Terminal and Security Applications at Fraport AG, Catherine Mayer, VP, SITA, and members of the Airports Council International (ACI) World Airport IT Standing Committee on a best-practice paper bringing together existing experience on passenger flow measurement solutions. This paper, Best practice on automated passenger flow measurement solutions, provides a guideline for airports intending to use passenger flow measurement technologies in the future and is a must-read for any airport considering investment in the area.

The paper addresses technology solutions that passively collect anonymous passenger movement data for analytical purposes. The two main lessons the paper covers are:

  • Most locations require a multi-technology solution due to an airport’s desired use cases, coupled with the physical constraints of the location/environment.
  • Once implemented, airports must regularly check the automated measurement solutions to guarantee a constant level of high quality data.

The paper also offers guidelines to resolve typical challenges in choosing and implementing the technical solution to help boost business value and improve the return on investment in any new technology.

Make sure you read before you invest and pick the right passenger flow management system for your airport.  If you are thinking about implementing such a solution and would like to discuss the pros and cons contact me.

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