London City Airport shows how structured and unstructured data makes a meaningful difference to operational efficiency and the passenger experience
Space is at a premium in the modern terminal so ensuring that passengers can navigate the terminal comfortably will help airport operators to meet key performance indicators, such as operational efficiency, on-time performance, retail revenue, and passenger satisfaction scores.
The application of structured and unstructured data to evaluate and govern airport improvement projects can have a marked positive impact on their success – and some would argue that progress cannot be made without applying data.
Facing significant space limitations and high customer expectations, UK airport London City used data to guide its turnaround initiatives. “Our approach is a technology data collaboration,” said Adrian Leung, change consultant for the airport. “We used modern technology to obtain the data to understand the issues, and working collaboratively with our stakeholders to study the problem, as well as implementing technological improvements to enhance the customer experience … and see where our opportunities are.”
The challenge for London City was to improve the passenger experience within immutable parameters – particularly physical constraints. “Our original facility was built to hold 1 million customers but we’ve grown, from 3 million in 2007 to 4.5 million passengers in just 10 years. With that, the overcrowding of the departure lounge has become a real challenge,” Leung said.
Optimising the environment
London City used size limitations to its advantage: unable to expand, it had to optimise the use of available space. “It helps us to achieve what we call our 2050 Customer experience for departing and arriving passengers,” Leung said. “For our departing passengers, we aim to get you through the door, through check-in, and through security to the gate in 20 minutes. We use all our technology – our crowd monitoring systems – to measure this across the journey.
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