Tag Archives: airport systems

Airport Systems Integration in the Back Office | Airports Systems NewsAirports have complex systems and products working simultaneously behind the scenes to deliver efficient flight operations regardless of airport size or capacity.

The key to improving efficiency across the board is airport systems integration.

When key systems and products are integrated, efficiency and productivity can be enhanced through visibility, and enables analytics data to be reviewed constantly to make further improvements.

Today’s modern airport environment at a much faster pace, and the number of flight passengers is increasing every year. To make sure airport operators can face the challenges that this creates, systems and services must remain seamlessly reliable.

Flexibility can be achieved by integration of systems, such as:

  • Passenger check-in
  • Baggage handling
  • Self-service kiosks
  • Security

When information, data and systems speak to one another, a holistic view can be achieved by the operational teams, and issues can be detected and addressed before they become problems that can lead to expensive ground delays.

Master systems integrators, Rockwell Collins’ ARINC airports, offer a range of specialist services that can help airport operators of all sizes to gain an advanced opportunity to create a seamless airport environment that serves both passengers and personnel to the maximum capability.

Passengers of today have high expectations for their travel experience, and airport systems integration can help achieve those goals for airport operators. With options for fully managed services, round-the-clock support and cloud solutions, Rockwell Collins’ ARINC airports are certainly ahead of their game.

Lufthansa Select vMUSE Mobile | Business Aviation NewsRockwell Collins’ new ARINC vMUSE mobile passenger processing platform will be launched by Lufthansa as they become the first airline to implement the technology.

This latest innovation in passenger processing promises to speed up the check-in process, which can be carried out by personnel on the ground using tablet devices, wherever they can get an internet signal and connection, even in the hotel foyer.

ARINC vMUSE mobile is based on an entirely mobile common-use passenger processing system (CUPPS) and is the first of its kind in the industry. Enabling cost-sharing and space-saving in the terminal, the solution paves the way for greater flexibility within the airport environment.

Later this month, Edinburgh airport will introduce MFlow Journey as a part of the airport systems to track and monitor passenger movement through its terminals.

MFlow is one of the latest innovations in Human Recognition, and will take a (thankfully) anonymous image of each passengers face as they check-in.  This enables the airport systems to measure the length of time it will take for each passenger to reach certain ‘check-points’.

Airport Systems

MFlow Airport Systems

The analysis of the data will enable the airport systems      to alert passenger management of any potential queue problems in advance, the idea being that the reduced time for the passenger queuing or waiting in a particular area of the terminal will increase the time the passenger will have for spending in the shopping areas, and therefore, maximizing profit potential for the airport, while enhancing the passenger experience as a whole.

Airport Systems

Edinburgh Airport Systems

Head of IT for Edinburgh Airport, Graeme Agnew said, “As the system doesn’t rely on people carrying Bluetooth or Wi-Fi technology, we are able to collate highly accurate data on the movement of passengers through security screening and then make informed decisions about how we manage this area of the airport in the long term.”

Bag Drop Desks

Bag Drop Desks

Since the announcement from EasyJet of the imminent closure of their check-in desks, replacing them, instead with bag drop desks, the face of airline travel is set to change.

More than 80% of airline passengers now choose to check-in online and can do so from 30 days before departure to 2 hours before the flight, printing their boarding passes at home.

This innovation spells the end of the ritual of the queue at check-in desks at airports around the world, ultimately reducing airport congestion and speeding up the entire process of check-in, with the potential of increasing operational efficiency and productivity for airlines.

Bag drop desks do not have to be airline-specific.  ARINC have developed ExpressDrop desks, for use by passengers who have checked in online, travelling with various airlines, providing a single drop-off point to simplify, expedite and offer passengers an enhanced experience with greater control.

The idea is not a new one, by any means.  Ryanair closed their airport check-in desks in 2009, but does charge passengers inordinate fees if they forget to check-in online.

Another advantage to the introduction of ExpressDrop or other bag drop desks, is that waiting times are reduced.  This will produce great sighs of relief for travellers, who may arrive at the gate as late as 30 minutes before departure.


Airport Systems for Border Security

Airport security technology has been in the news again this week with Lisbon Airport being the latest to install biometric eGates at Terminal 1.

The solution provides automated passenger checks for access to the departure lounge and has been chosen by Lisbon airport to enable faster and automated processing of passengers boarding passes in any format (paper, smartphone or PDA.

According to João Nunes, Director of Lisbon Airport: “This partnership allows ANA to offer the most advanced technologies in the implementation of self-service solutions for passengers in complete alignment with the IATA TRAVEL FAST program, which is also supported by the ACI.”

Automated passenger processing is being taken up by many airports around the world because of the increased demands being placed on resources to enforce ever tougher border security measures.

Electronic borders, airport systems and automated passenger processing systems are being offered by most suppliers but notable in the headlines have been ARINC with their electronic borders product achieving great praise.

Amsterdam Airport Schiphol provides one of Europe’s best reference sites for self-service bag drop and 12 units are in place in Departure Hall 2.

ICM Airport Technics has supplied its self-service baggage drop system to Qantas as part of the airline’s Next Generation Check-In programme.

ICM Airport Technics has supplied its self-service baggage drop system to Qantas as part of the airline’s Next Generation Check-In programme.

Amsterdam Airport Schiphol provides one of Europe’s best reference sites for self-service bag drop and this year, 6 new self-service bag drop systems were introduced in Departure Hall 2, taking the total number to 12. Among the latest airports to announce an intention to implement such systems is Bologna Airport, which is expected to complete the installation of 14 units by mid-2013. Aéroports de Paris has also successfully installed a system at Paris-Orly and will soon be extended to Paris-Charles de Gaulle.

The benefits of allowing passengers to take charge of the check-in and bag drop process themselves are clear. For the airline it means fewer agents are needed, passenger processing is faster and congestion around check-in desks is reduced. For the airport, it enhances the check-in capacity, reduces operational costs and allows for the optimisation of existing space. Airports and airlines need to decide whether to implement a one- or two-step solution. The first option allows the process of printing and attaching bag tags and depositing the bag into the system, completed in a single transaction. The second requires the passenger to print their bag tags at a self-service kiosk, before depositing their bag at a separate location.

As Vaessen explained, the implementation at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol makes use of the one-step process. “There were two main reasons for using one-step. The first was our home check-in passengers. More than 50% of our passengers check-in at home, so we didn’t want all of these to still have to go to a kiosk when they arrive at the airport and we simply wouldn’t have enough room for all of the kiosks. The one-step or two-step process depends very much on the infrastructure of the airport.”

The implementation by Qantas, ICM Airport Technics’ two-step solution is now operated across 8 airport terminals in Australia and London Heathrow a total of 84 units. Duncan Watson, Qantas Head of Global Marketing Operations uses the two-step process, explained that the process “maximises the available real estate for the airport departures concourse”. He added: “The two-stage process results in significant savings in both expenditure and footprint. It is better for the passenger to spend two minutes in Area A and subsequently 30 seconds in Area B, compared to two-and-a-half minutes in a single stage process.”

One product available for self service check-in is ARINC’s ExpressDropTM, the world’s first common bag drop application for passengers who have already checked in on the Web, at a self-service kiosk or on their mobile phone. For more details please visit the ARINC ExpressDropTMsite.