Developing digital solutions to improve planning and forecasting for security and airside processes at a European airport

What they asked

Our client was a leading European airport reaching the limits of their capacity. They wanted to improve their planning and forecasting processes to make optimal use of available capacity. They asked us to set up and lead (on an interim basis) a cross-functional value stream to improve a variety of areas. More specifically, they wanted to improve processes, benefit from digital opportunities, develop new tooling, and facilitate business changes for all forecasting and planning processes at the airport.

What we did

We led a cross-functional value stream (business, IT and data science) consisting of four teams working on:

  1. Passenger Forecasts: Improve the passenger forecasts used for staff planning based on new data and digital solutions.
  2. Integrated planning processes: Optimise passenger flow and asset utilisation by integrally planning different processes (check-in, security check, passport check, gate planning).
  3. Integrated planning platform: Source a technology partner to develop an integrated planning platform, replacing the current planning systems (enabling processes).
  4. Aircraft insights: Develop data-driven insights in aircraft turnaround, docking and taxi processes to improve performance and support decision-making in operations.

What we accomplished

The programme resulted in a significant improvement in passenger forecasts (forecast error for departing passengers was reduced by >50%). We also developed a solid framework for integrated planning, selected a platform partner (link) and implemented integrated planning. We further developed a thorough understanding of airside capacity and constraints and identified promising improvements (such as last-minute gate planning) that are now being further investigated/piloted.