Improving the performance of security planning at a leading European hub airport

What they asked

Our client was a leading European hub airport. They had recently centralised all security checking processes in the terminal. Their targets were to reduce costs and improve performance. However, they had been unable to achieve these targets. Therefore, they asked us to help them improve performance in the areas of planning security capacity, balancing costs and minimising passenger waiting times.

What we did

We developed an advanced analysis tool to gain insight into deviations between the planning and realization of security capacity, creating a list of root causes. Then we designed a planning concept based on better forecasting and more flexibility in operations. The implementation of this new planning tool allowed security planners to bring the concept into practice. This included monitoring on budget, so planners were able to highlight budget deviations early on in the process.

We also developed a new method to deal with uncertainty in passenger forecasts. Rather than accounting for the plan margin per filter (a total of six), we designed a single flex pool of resources to support fluctuations of passenger flows across filters. This approach significantly reduced the total margin required to cope with deviations in passenger flows. Finally, we implemented a new performance measurement system used to analyse deviations in planning and immediately feed these back into planning procedures (plan-do-check-act).

What we accomplished

We successfully implemented a new planning tool for security planners, which they are still using today. We also implemented the flex pool, and the airport now continuously improves performance planning.