Airports are the focus of many complaints related to the quality of service provided. One issue is lengthy queues where passengers wait in line before reaching security screening checkpoints, immigration desks, or boarding gates.
Airport queues frequently occur because airport authorities fail to deploy enough resources to handle peak traffic demand during holidays and weekends. It can be due to unforeseen events such as a flight delay. To avoid long queuing times, the following are innovative solutions to help:
Deploying Bots To Manage Queues
Changi Airport has employed several robots in Singapore to ease the queuing times at security screening checkpoints. The bots can perform tasks such as greeting passengers at the boarding gates, guiding visitors around the airport complex, or helping passengers to find their way.
In addition, the bots can answer simple questions such as where a duty-free shop is located in the airport.
AI Based Queuing System
For New Zealand-based airports, an AI queuing system has been developed to analyze data collected from airport security screening checkpoints and automatically calculate approximate wait times experienced by passengers daily.
The system is accurate within four minutes (on average) for peak arrival periods during the day. Airlines can use it and other travel companies to plan flight schedules appropriately.
Airport authorities can install parking sensors to help ease traffic congestion at the airport. The sensors measure vehicle density and traffic flow 24 hours a day. If you have been to Fort Lauderdale Airport, you know how tiresome Parking at RDU can be.
When the parking capacity is reached or when there is a high rate of vehicles entering and exiting an area, drivers approaching that part of the airport will receive a warning, e.g., “Attention! The parking capacity for this part of the airport is almost reached.
Please consider utilizing another facility.” The warning increases convenience for drivers and reduces waiting times significantly.
When an unauthorized person accesses the tarmac, airports can utilize virtual barriers called “barriers” to keep intruders away from the aircraft. To reduce the risk of accidents, airplanes should park at remote stands or aircraft gates separated from passenger terminals with robust fencing.
These barriers can be placed anywhere around the airport, including at boarding gates, preventing unauthorized people from entering restricted areas.
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Zone Control Systems
Another intelligent solution is called the zone control system, where access to certain areas is restricted to authorized people or vehicles only. The system uses sensors placed at the entry points of airports that are connected to a control room.
When traffic density builds up at any part of an airport, zone control system administrators can close certain access points temporarily based on real-time data collected by sensors about traffic flow and prevent delays. Some airports have used this intelligent system to respond to any significant issues quickly.
Better Packing Systems
Passengers can reduce the time spent at the airport by reducing the number of items they carry on board and pack as many items as possible into their check-in luggage. Airports usually provide lockers that passengers can store things they consider too bulky to take on board. Some airports offer baby strollers for parents with small children or wheelchairs for the elderly.
We recommend installing a combination of intelligent solutions to reduce congestion and maintain operational efficiency for any airport. However, the long-term solution is expansion so that airports can accommodate more passengers and flights.
Some smart solutions such as virtual walls and parking sensors require runway construction which may not be possible in some locations. Nevertheless, using a combination of different systems will provide airports with a quick and efficient response to congestion issues while maintaining safety for both passengers and staff.