As the UK’s Airports Commission struggles to find a viable option for the much needed growth in the UK’s airports, AiQ Consulting have been finding new ways to tackle the much discussed lack of capacity.
The Airports Commission has ruled out almost all the options to increase UK airport capacity (with the exception of expanding Heathrow and Gatwick). Proposals to expand Luton, Stansted or Birmingham, build new airports at various locations around London, or create an orbital railway have all been dismissed, but what can airports do to ensure their business increases and passengers, airlines, ground handlers and more have an efficient, growing service?
Ever wondered how crows managed to choose just the right moment to fly away when you drive towards them? No matter how tasty the carrion or how unaware they seem to be, the probability is, while you may (momentarily) close your eyes and grip the wheel in panic, the bird escapes your grill unscathed.
The same wonder of nature is seen in the work of beehives. Without any meetings, conference calls or threatening emails, bees have a natural order that allows them to scout, forage and produce effectively. These in-built, biological orders have, of course, not gone unnoticed by scientists and researchers, that have used them to create simulations that have a number of uses, not least in the aviation industry. …Continue reading…
When you have chosen one design, over 22 different options, for your South Terminal Baggage Hall, you need to know you have chosen the most efficient, effective option before any costly investment takes place.
Our client at London Gatwick Airport asked us to prove that the chosen design worked effectively with traffic flows in the baggage hall and apron, by running simulations and liaising with stakeholders to ensure acceptance throughout the airport.
As experienced airport consultants, we were able to use our unique simulation tool Transvision AiR, and data provided by Babcock International (who were working on the ‘in’ system baggage simulation) to firstly provide a sophisticated, comprehensive MUP system. This involved working with all the ground handlers and airlines involved within the airport, to acquire the data, for the MUP.
Following on to our introduction to the benefits of Simulations in our earlier blog, we’re following it up with a guide to the terminology around the subject.
If you come from a technical and engineering background, the words used around the software are probably second nature, but if you’re not; we hope this helps you understand what we do and how it helps airports realise their capacity.
Our simulations model real-life or hypothetical situations in an attempt to understand how they work, and how they work once a specific change or action has been applied.
For example, we often model the activities around airports and terminals to study the flow of traffic, passengers, airlines and more. We can then use this model when suggesting changes that can affect capacity such as seasonal changes. The resulting simulation then informs the client of the effects of any changes, before any investment has occurred. This could be prior to a design or to prove a design.
This is of great benefit to our clients, especially when some of them are complex airport hubs, responsible for millions of passengers, complex stakeholder negotiations and worldwide flight networks.
Although we have had many years experience in the aviation industry, working with airports, airlines and other stakeholders to manage and improve capacity and processes, 2013 was launch year for AiQ. The year we brought all of our skills together into one consultancy that works with our clients to enhance their operation efficiencies, and realise the capacity they didn’t know they had.
This was increasingly important as discussion around airport capacity in the South East and the Davies Commission reached a fever pitch towards the end of the year. As businesses, politicians and the public alike debate what would be the best outcome, the strain on facilities in our airports continues.
With a staggering amount of well-known companies and business leaders as signatories, the ‘Let Britain Fly’ campaign looks to make a real impact in the aviation industry.
Bringing together the UK’s business elite as a political force, the campaign aims to expand airport capacity in London and the South East to support jobs and growth. With Heathrow already reach full capacity and Gatwick and Stansted soon to follow suit, the organization believes that failing to act now to increase airport capacity will have a negative impact on the economy. They aim to build cross-party support to build new runways.
While we work with simulations every day in our work with Heathrow, Gatwick and other major and minor airports worldwide, we are aware that not all the stakeholders we deal with have a great understanding of how simulations can benefit them and the terminology that can be used. So, here is the first in a series of occasional blog’s exploring simulations.
The Benefits of Simulation
Using simulations to create airport scenarios allows our clients to make decisions based on real situations. They can visualise their airport or process, as well as any possible changes, and base their decision making on our up-to-date database populated with assumptions, rules and actual data. This includes data on flight schedules, airlines, handlers, vehicles, passenger and more. We can also work with their attitude to risk, and run programmes that will run a situation a multitude of times (a Monte Carlo Simulation) to show them just how often busy periods will occur, for instance.
To celebrate our launch, we’ve been giving away some great AiQ travel mugs. Perfect for airports, you can keep your coffee* warm in all weathers and terminals! Even when you’re airside, pop the lid on and keep yourself caffeinated.
If you’d like a mug, just give Adrian a call and let him know why you’ve got Airport IQ. We’re happy to meet up for a quick chat to share ideas about airport capacity, operational effectiveness… or just the best coffee shop in Terminal 4!
Time to take an AIQ Mug Shot!
We’d love to have shots of you and your mugs to share on Twitter and our website – Send us a photo of you and your AiQ mug in an unusual place (not just restricted to airports), and the best one will win a (probably coffee-related) prize!
*or tea, hot chocolate… we’ll even let you put de-caff in there.
Following on from our earlier news about our contracts in Heathrow in October, AiQ are pleased to announce another New Contract has been awarded, for Terminal 4.
This T4 Asset Replacement Migration Project will look at replacing the ageing sorting convey system. Using our bespoke simulation tool, Transvision AiR, we will look at possible options for the new convey system in terms of operational efficiency and airport capacity planning, as well as looking at the capacity of the redundant sorters.
AiQ is pleased to announce the appointment of Jakob Peeker as Simulation Engineer.
We are very excited to welcome Jakob to our team, where he will be working on various Modelling & Simulation Software for projects such as Heathrow Terminal 2 Simulation Airside Traffic and Terminal 3 Integrated Baggage (IB) Cut-in Options
Based within Heathrow, the appointment of Jakob further strengthens our team following our successful launch earlier this year.
AiQ works with many clients – from airport operators to handlers – and we always ensure that their needs are met. Whether it is providing input into baggage systems or designing a new terminal, we can provide operational efficiencies, increased capacity and an enhanced passenger experience.
This is something that is crucial when we work with Low Cost airports. Although for these airports the budgets are less, we do not put the client’s needs at any lower priority. In fact, in most of our case studies we have used this to an advantage, looking at ways to increase revenue by redesigning forecourts and drop off areas.
AIQ are please to announce two new contracts at Heathrow that have been awarded over the last few weeks – Terminal 2 simulation model extension and Terminal 3 Integrated baggage cutting options.
Terminal 2 simulation model Extension (ground handler resource requirements and efficiency)
The first looks at extending the existing Terminal 2 simulation models to look at ground handler resource requirements and operational efficiency for HAL Heathrow Airport Ltd. This is in preparation for when Terminal 2 opens and will involve setting up and implementing surveys; negotiating with stakeholders; holding workshops and process reviews; and developing special processes around individual operations. We will be reporting on staff resources, vehicles and baggage, ULD’s, tins, tugs, dollies and much more.
Looking at Ground Handler requirements and efficiency will also involved reporting on arrival delivery performance on different aircrafts, different stands and different airlines. As you can imagine, there are many handlers, flights and other operations that need to work on a limited space so providing an accurate representation of punctuality, efficiency and risk is essential. Using our unique simulation software, Transvision AiR, we will provide HAL with the data and information they need to ensure a process that realises capacity and creates operational efficiencies.