Passenger demand and capacity expertise

With record-breaking passenger numbers predicted to be moving through airports this year, the efficiency of their journey is a key consideration for AiQ’s work with airports throughout the world.

As global experts in constrained and saturated airports, we approach the capacity and the operation with not only a scientific approach to big data, but also with a strong emphasis on the passenger journey and experience.

There are lots of different things that need to be considered when you’re looking at passengers at an airport.

Departure passengers Arrival passengers
  • Landside Surface Access demand
  • Inter Terminal passenger flow (ITO)
  • Car parking (Mid Stay Car Parking)
  • Immigration
  • Kerbside demand
  • Arrivals reclaim demand and allocation
  • Terminal spatial planning
  • Customs
  • Passenger flows, demand and populations including: Check-in, Security, Departure Lounges, Gates, Immigration, Reclaims.
  • Landside Arrival Hall

Before any modelling can take place it is important that time is spent with the airport to validate their existing data, testing it where necessary by physical survey. Often existing assumptions that are routinely relied upon are found to be wanting when surveyed against actual operations.

Terminal spatial planning goes hand in hand with passenger flow. Knowledge of the passenger flow behaviour in each area of the airport impacts the optimal spatial layout to provide the ideal passenger experience. AiQ have years of experience in passenger flow modelling and layout to help airports determine the best spatial design.

Our solutions help to improve passenger flows and reduce congestion at constrained areas such as check-in, security and immigration. These measures help reduce passenger stress and enhance their experience whilst having the added benefit of improving security.

Passenger check-in planning involves complex segregation solutions including TSA AAA checks, CUSS, one and two step SSBD, CUTE/MAC (Multi airline check-in). Our White Paper takes a detailed look at some of the exciting automation technology being adopted at airport check-in and the ways in which airports and airlines can make use of smarter new technology solutions.

For departing passengers it’s not just the obvious things like the passenger terminal that need attention but considerations such as Landside Surface Access also need to be taken into account.

Ultimately, knowing where passengers are coming from and going to helps inform what facilities you need to provide for them and how close they need to be spatially which is key to the airport planning process. You can take a look at one of our case studies featuring some passenger analysis at Heathrow here.

Car parking expertise and kerbside demand are also key areas in the planning process – buses, taxis, private car drop-offs, trains, heavy rail, light rail, metro systems. These systems behave in different ways and AiQ have the expertise to model these in different outputs.

For arriving passengers there are less factors to consider but airports are constrained by the fact that the main objective of the arrival passengers is to leave the airport as soon as possible. Although the number of steps in the process of leaving varies depending on passenger origin or whether they have checked baggage.

The Output

While the data is crucial to the modelling output, so is the presentation of the output. Often big data sets are taken as the input into the model, but the output must be considered very carefully and simplified so as not to confuse. At AiQ we call it ‘telling the story’ which allows the stakeholders to easily understand the implications of the piece of work. Often the stakeholders will not be used to interpreting complex numbers in spreadsheets or complex tables. Therefore, at AiQ the presentation requires much thought to make sure the story is not lost in its’ telling.


At AiQ we know that the flow of passengers is critical to the success of an airport. This flow interconnects with other points in airport operational efficiency and management, such as realising capacity, improving check-in processes and developing hold baggage systems.

AiQ have the unique ability to be able to assess and model all airport processes from kerbside to airspace including aircraft, passengers, baggage, transfer systems and ground support equipment – giving you the big picture as well as highly detailed insights and analysis.

This blog only skims the surface of what our award winning team can do but we love talking all things airport and aviation so if you would like a chat or more information about how we can assist you with any of your challenges in 2024, contact us today.