Small Changes, Big Differences – A Year in review with AiQ Consulting


AiQ 2019 Year

It’s been another high growth year for AiQ Consulting. With groundbreaking projects, including undertaking an independent assessment of declaration capacity at Schiphol Airport; pioneering strategic relationships with trusted and respected partners in the aviation industry NATS and IATA; and further expanding our team with specialists in airport capacity, VR and more; we’ve improved our services and products to provide intelligent, holistic end to end support to our clients.

Groundbreaking Projects

We’ve been able to extend our services this year, and the type of support we can bring to our clients. A pioneering example of this is our work with Schiphol Airport.

Schiphol Airport

AiQ Consulting have won the contract to undertake an independent assessment of declaration capacity at Schiphol Airport. We are providing a holistic end to end analysis of capacity in this level 3 airport, looking at all areas in what is a very complex and challenging environment. An effective and detailed level of analysis of capacity and demand is essential to allow all available capacity to be realized and declared for slot allocation and use. AiQ will help the management team plan a phrased structured approach to growth, through our experience in optimising highly constrained and saturated airports, both in Heathrow and around the world.

Bristol Airport

We have also extended the reach of our services, providing end-to-end, kerbside to airspace analysis and services in partnership with NATS at Bristol Airport including Virtual Reality 3D Simulation.

Saudi Arabia and Japan

Our team have undertaken an airport design review for a full holistic baggage and check-in operational requirements analysis leading to the full concept and scheme design of baggage systems for three airports in Saudi Arabia

Working with GTA, we have also completed a reclaim and MUP Plan Analysis for existing terminals at Narita Airport, Japan.

Heathrow Airport

Our long term working relationship with Heathrow Airport continues to be strong, creating mathematical models of the movement of passengers, baggage, and flights through the terminals of the busy and constrained hub airport. This year AiQ has undertaken asset replacement, including EBS and SSBD, as well as developing virtual reality models for T3 and T4 to help stakeholders understand how their plans will work in practice through an extremely realistic VR experience. This VR was demonstrated at British Irish Show in June and we are continuing to develop the simulation in order to assist Heathrow with their decision-making process.

Strategic Relationships


We have formed a partnership with trusted industry experts NATS to enable us to work with airports and stakeholders worldwide to review all elements of airports, from kerbside to airspace. Together we provide a full airport capacity and operational efficiency analysis and simulation of the passenger journey. Our joint service will give airports the safest and most efficient transition of passengers from arriving, through the terminal, onto the aircraft and arriving at their destination. Through this approach we and NATS solve complex capacity problems, validate processes or designs and optimise operational efficiency, whilst provide crucial stakeholder management throughout the decision making process.


We have also grown our working relationship with IATA in 2018. Providing the independent assessment of declaration capacity at Schipol Airport alongside the IATA Standards has allowed us to grow our services with the trade association for the world’s airlines with global standards for airport safety, security, efficiency and sustainability. In 2019, this strategic relationship will work together in order to provide other constrained and saturated airports worldwide improved capacity, efficiency and passenger experience.

Our Growing Team

We have welcomed three new team members this year as well as continuing relationships with our talented and respected associates, Chris Pickard, Richard Chapman and Elliott John.

Airport Simulation Engineer

One of the newest members of the AiQ Consulting team, Grace Simms, joined the simulation team as an Airport Simulation Engineer. We spoke to the entire Simulation Team as a series of Q&A blogs in order to find out more about their roles and important work that they do.

Airport Planners

Also joining the AiQ team this year were Enrico De Donati, Airport Planner, and Katrin Lenksevic, Graduate Airport Planner.

In June we welcomed an intern, Anushka Padhye, a Cranfield University MSc Management student who joined us for three months to carry out an academic research study using real life examples and data. Anushka looked at trends in Ground Support Equipment, including electrification, GSE pooling and blockchain technology.Her project assessed the current use of Ground Support Equipment at London Heathrow and other airports and the impact of disruptive technologies in the future. It was a very successful way to join our respective skills and experience to fulfill a need for airports to consider their current and future use of GSE.

Global Airport Associates

Chris Pickard, Director of Pickard Associates, is working with our team on the pioneering project at Schiphol Airport. Chris has joined the team in an independent capacity in order to provide his skills and experience in strategic airport capacity planning. He has extensive experience in this area, as Head of Capacity and Occupancy for Heathrow between 2009 & 2014, as well as his talent in innovation and growth.

AiQ has successfully worked alongside Richard Chapman, Director of Airport Design Consult Ltd for a number of years on joint projects as well as delivering capacity planning training courses. With 25 years experience in the aviation sector and a qualified architect, he brings his worldwide experience, particularly in the Far East. Prior to working as an independent consultant, he held the position of Airports Director in HOK international, Woods Bagot, Ruddle Wilkinson and led technical advisor/design teams on a variety of projects worldwide including New Delhi, Mumbai and Project Director, Indira Gandhi International Airport.

Elliot John is an Associate who has been working with the AiQ team as a Project Simulation Programmer since 2017, developing bespoke gaming level 3D discrete terminal simulations utilizing REVIT and incorporating Virtual Reality to visualize activities. His projects so far have included Heathrow T4 Terminal Virtual Reality, London Heathrow T3 departures check-ins Virtual Reality, and Leeds Bradford Airport Terminal Capacity Simulation.

The Introduction of Virtual Reality

This year we have been developing our Real Time Virtual Reality to offer significant benefits to clients and stakeholders, taking the decision-making process to the next level. We offer clients the ability to become a passenger and follow the check-in processes, using the self-service kiosk and bag drop system as it is proposed to be. This innovation allows airports we work with visualize the space in graphic detail before the design phase. Enhancing spatial awareness and using real time, our clients can not only understand the impact of decisions and new technology, but also communicate this with their stakeholders, staff and suppliers with ease.

We have also been developing new tools to add to our portfolio, allowing us to help airports understand different approaches to capacity and operational efficiency, as well as increasing their resilience to future demands by accurately forecasting future traffic. These new tools include Multi-Step Check-In Capacity Analysis, our Capacity Assessment IATA Tool, and the Airport Traffic Forecasting Tool.

Smart Solutions and Holistic Approaches

This year we explored issues that impact on airport efficiency and capacity and how AiQ Consulting works with airport owners, operators and stakeholders to enable them to make considered decisions to find capacity.

In November we looked at how, when it comes to releasing capacity and improving passenger flow in your airport, smaller changes can often make a huge impact on your operational effectiveness and revenue. Minor changes in technology, check-in and automation can make a big difference and looking at these problems holistically is part of the solution.

It’s important to us to help constrained and saturated airports find capacity A part of this approach is understanding how airports become constrained, and Adrian Todd took us through these reasons in one of our latest blogs. He also explained that it’s easier to use existing footprint of the airport than to consider expanding. Capacity is going to be created by doing and changing small things. You need to get smarter, and AiQ’s airport consultancy works with airports to provide these answers.

2018 has also seen a lot of changes for UK airports, particularly with the introduction of ECAC Standard 3. Asset Replacement for airports is an essential and continuous task for airports to remain secure and efficient. We looked at our delivery role and how we work with airports to effectively plan for asset replacement. This includes capacity assessment of the existing asset process, modelling of the removal of assets and mitigation’s of what can be done differently during the process.

We also explore how to improve Baggage Handling Processes, the impact of new technology on airports and how Common Use Equipment can give airport operators more flexibility.

If you would like to talk to our team to see how we can work with your airport in 2019, contact us today  We can explore how our groundbreaking simulation can assist your decision making processes, how we can implement small changes that make a big difference in your capacity, or give your airport a full holistic assessment alongside our strategic partners.