How airport data analytics is changing airport operations

While the Coronavirus has temporarily shut down airports. Airport data analytics can play an instrumental role in how airports will operate.

Airport data analytics is one instrument that could change airport operations. While the Coronavirus has temporarily shut down airports (and rightly so, we can’t let that virus spread!), this is an opportunity for airport managers and other stakeholders to take stock of their processes and identify key areas of weakness.

By identifying these areas, airport managers can find new opportunities to improve operations, making the entire process more efficient than before. When airports are ready for business again, they will operate more efficiently than before, which means higher passenger turnover, lower operating costs and even less pollution.

In this blog post, we take a look at how airport data analytics will improve airport operations.

Transforming operations with airport data analytics

Airport data analytics can make airports operate smarter and more efficiently by helping them make use of their biggest asset: Data.

A better understanding of passengers

Passenger satisfaction is one of the most important metrics for any airport. Yet, it is very difficult to score high on this metric due to reasons like long queues that frustrate customers. With airport data analytics, it is possible for airports to get a better understanding of passenger behaviour.

Using airport analytics, data analysts can collect information on people who pass through various checks, like their gender, arrival times, baggage-check in times and the type of flight they take to better understand passenger behaviour.

A better understanding of how passengers operate can be used to improve services. For example, the data on passenger behaviour can be compared against other data sets covering airport processes, like check-in to identify where problems are and develop solutions.

In 2017, the Athens airport reduced the number of delayed flights and improved the transfer process, so that fewer passengers missed their connecting flights. They accomplished this by studying the behaviour of 21.7 million passengers coming through the airport using airport data analytics.

Identify pain points in airport processes

Airport processes, like boarding and check-in, have a huge impact on the passenger experience. However, they are also some of the most time-consuming procedures for everyone involved. At the same time, they are also very difficult to change due to the sheer volume of passengers coming through.
Airport data analytics provides a solution to address both problems. Data analytics can study processes based on data and develop predictive models to anticipate demand in the system. Using these models, airports can identify peak times, not just during seasons, but based on weeks, days and even hours.

They can use this information to allocate resources to boost capacity during these peak times and provide customers with a better experience. With airport data analytics, managers can make modifications to existing processes without restructuring them to improve efficiency.

Benefits to parties

How do passengers benefit from the implementation of airport data analytics? They will benefit in the form of a better flying experience because everyone will spend less time at baggage-check in or any other counter, for that matter. In other words, there will be shorter queues, which means less waiting time for passengers, leading to a more pleasant experience.

Furthermore, it’s not just passengers who benefit. Airport control will see a significant improvement in metrics across the board. Cost efficiency will improve through active resource planning because existing infrastructure is used to improve outcomes.

There will also be better on-time performance because predictive models can help airport managers marshal the resources needed to meet demand so that infrastructure is not spread thin across the board.

Finally, it paves the way for better opportunities in the form of personalised marketing and omnichannel customer service, which could lead to more benefits down the line, like faster and more convenient check-in.

Creating better airports with analytics

While it is difficult to see when airports would open up for travel again, there is no denying that this downtime is an opportunity to improve existing processes. If anything, this downtime in travel is the perfect opportunity to assess and transform operations across several departments and make changes that will bring long-term benefits to the airport.

This is, of course, provided airport stakeholders take the time to assess operations using the right technology. Airport data analytics is the perfect tool to identify areas of improvement and ensure parties across the board benefit.


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