A new system that can more accurately predict if you’ll get to the gate for that connecting flight has been built by boffins at the UCL School of Management.
By providing access to real-time data, the work focuses on passenger movement using advanced data analytics and machine learning technology, says the team.
Things look promising so far – as a test run of the system at Heathrow in July during peak holiday traffic was claimed to run successfully, though data from the results are still being scrutinised.
Professor Bert De Reyck, its Director, says the aim is to try and accurately predict hours in advance whether passengers will catch their connections to avoid flight delays and better manage queues at security and border control.
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“Heathrow is the most congested airport on the planet, handling 75 million passengers per year with only two runways,” he pointed out.
“Any interruption causes further delays not only throughout the day, but throughout the entire European network as the airport is a major hub for connecting flights.
“With more than a quarter of all passengers landing in Heathrow making a flight transfer, any passengers missing connections can have a major impact on passenger satisfaction and airline delays. That’s why all processes need to be optimised.”
UCL’s work is part of a collaborative project to completely overhaul European airspace and its air traffic management and is managed by European Organisation for the Safety of Air Navigation, Eurocontrol.