Soaring through 2017 –AiQ’s Year in Review

It’s been another successful year for AiQ as we focused on issues critical to airports and airlines, cementing our reputation as a trusted partner in airport consultancy to worldwide operators, suppliers and stakeholders.

As we review the year we’ll look at our own team highlights, as well as our case studies, news and projects.

The Holistic Airport

AiQ Consulting has always viewed the airport as a whole – terminal, airfield and apron. Our holistic method allows us to view problems and solutions as having an impact throughout the passenger journey. Alongside our scientific approach, it allows us to model and simulate from first principles and deliver intelligent airport consultancy. We create and deliver resilient, cost effective and innovative planning solutions.

Relationships with NATS and Altran

As an extension to this, we have been developing relationships with NATS this year to provide strategic end-to-end Airport Capacity Solutions services for saturated airports worldwide – from landside to airspace. This integrated approach will analyse and simulate the passenger journey throughout the airport, solving complex capacity problems and optimising operational efficiency, providing a whole airport view. Look out for more from us and NATS in 2018.

As a further extension to our services, we are also in discussion with world leaders in engineering and industrial consulting, Altran, presenting some exciting opportunities for the airport of the future.

Our Team and Projects

Our team has expanded this year to include Nicola Marsh, Airport Simulation Engineer , Marina Del Val Perez, Airport Engineer and Mevin Varghese who joined us as Airport Planner on a permanent basis. We are very pleased to attract and employ such global talent into our team.

Heathrow Airport

We have continued our close partnership with Heathrow Airport, the most constrained airport in the world, with a number of completed and ongoing projects. Nomaan Asghar, Nicola Marsh and Graeme Thom were key contributors to the successful delivery of the ongoing London Heathrow T4 HBS and Asset Replacement Project.

“We are part of the team charged with bringing assets out of use, and ensuring that appropriate mitigations are in place to protect the ongoing Operations in Terminal 4. Our data analysis and informed recommendations have been a key part, of this crucial aspect, of the project delivery.”

New Innovations and TransvisionAiR™ Developments

We began the year by looking at baggage handling systems and the journey of a passenger bag, examining the complexity surrounding this process and how important it is for all systems to work together to ensure the smooth operation of the entire airport. Recent developments in terminals have allowed faster, more automated and personalised technologies that make operations more efficient, but these can affect other areas of the airport and need managing to implement effectively.

Capacity Assessment IATA Tool

IATA standards are also a priority for AiQ Consulting. This year we have updated our IATA Tool, a development of our current IATA tool using the new LoS requirements as outlined in the ADRM 10th edition v5, something that other aviation consultancies may not consider. Our new tool has sections covering processes including check-in desks, security lanes and emigration area. While being very useful for design purposes, the tool is also quick and efficient. We can tell airports the optimum space required per passenger at all processes and optimum waiting time per passenger at each process. It makes the IATA LoS meaningful by applying the actual airport data, where a client can visualise how the airport complies with IATA standards, as well as highlighting capacity and operational efficiency improvements.

Multi-Step Check-In Capacity Analysis

Manos Charitakis , Mevin Varghese and Marina Del Val Perez’s achievements for the year included working on testing and refining new features in bespoke software TransvisionAiR™ that enables us to simulate a multi-step check-in process associated with self-bag drop. This will allow airport operators and airlines get a better understanding of their existing and potential capacity to support their decision-making.

It’s also our best ever 3D simulation with using Unity 3D. We can now provide more realistic simulations for clients, with a clear vision of how efficient the facilities work and increasing capacity with a more innovative check-in process. The tool can also highlight where the process could be improved so our team can propose new layouts or design options to reduce waiting times.

Airport Traffic Forecasts

Our Forecasting Tool has been developed to generate forecast future traffic – annual and peak hour. Using Regression analysis, a more accurate and realistic method than as trend forecasts, it predicts traffic on other variables that could influence traffic such as GDP, exchange rate, fuel price, and unemployment figures. We efficiently use and apply this scientific approach, adding to our capabilities and creating scenario forecasting models that make future airports more resilient to change.

The Importance of Passenger Movement

The movement of people through airports was also a focus for us this year. The flow of passengers is always critical to our work. Without passengers, there would be no airport, and their wants and needs shape the way airports are constructed and managed. When we provide simulations through TransvisionAiR™, recreating a problem or offering solutions for clients, the data we use conveys typical human behaviour in all passengers.

At Gatwick Airport, we produced a simulation that would quantify the benefit of two PRM lifts in their terminal for the Interterminal Transit System. This simulation we created followed designated individual passengers from the concourse and showed the design flows, objectives and outcomes, looking in detail at what we refer to as ‘full human physics behaviour’ of both passengers and PRMs.

Optimising Passenger Experience

Optimising passenger experience in regional airports can sometimes be a challenge and this year we focused on how they can reach IATA standards and cope with the challenges of different airline operating models.

AiQ have been working with regional airports over many years to assist them in improving passenger experience, both through best practice, simulation modeling and stakeholder management. This allowed us to work with regional airports such as Leeds Bradford and Manchester, enabling them to increase capacity and flexibility with new technology, creating the optimum passenger experience without the need of unnecessary investment costs.

At Leeds Bradford Airport, we were asked to undertake a capacity assessment to understand the impact of CUTE (Common Use Terminal Equipment) and SSBD (Self Service Bag Drops) implementation in a highly constrained and saturated airport environment. Our solutions improved passenger flows and reduced crowds at this constrained check in, decreasing the security risk and queuing. These measures reduced passenger stress and increased passenger experience.

In addition to working with other UK airports, we have also been involved in delivering numerous projects worldwide in Airports such as Narita, Manila and Saudi Arabia.

Peak Flow Demands

Being aware of the demands of peak flow is an essential element of an efficient airport. This year we focused on modeling peak flow demand, so airports can assess the impact of an increasing amount of passengers or a busy summer period. Using Big Data, innovative new technology, automation and drones allows airports to plan for their future airport and peak situations, putting strategies in place to decrease the effect on queues, security, IATA standards and more.

We have developed Modelling Methodologies to assess peak flow demand using the latest software and technology. Our experienced and knowledgeable team can incorporate all schematics, big data and process into your simulation, giving an accurate reflection of proposed development changes.

The future

2018 promises to be another exciting year for AiQ Consulting as global experts solving complex capacity problems at constrained and saturated airports. We will partner with clients worldwide to help them build future airports that are both resilient and innovative. Our scientific approach gives us holistic understanding of passenger, baggage, flight and vehicle movements throughout airports with the automation of existing processes and the introduction of new disruptive technologies to optimise operational efficiencies.

We are looking forward to working with clients and stakeholders next year to create efficient, cost effective and  state of the art airports across the globe.