No more waiting when you get to Schiphol

When passengers arrive at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, they want to get to the next leg of their journey as soon as possible, but that can be easier said than done. There’s often a queue for the arrival filter because of a system set up to reduce the pressure on passport control. A pilot project was initiated during the Christmas period to prevent long queues at busy times – and it was a success!

Couple with luggage on the travelator

A promising pilot project in the summer

The first pilot project aimed at reducing the pressure on the arrival filters was implemented in the summer. In a process known as passenger flow balance, digital screens directed passengers from specific flight services to an arrival filter which, at that moment, had the space to accommodate these extra people. On the busiest day of summer, when 84,000 passengers arrived at the airport, this pilot succeeded in preventing long queues forming at the arrival filter.

Christmas pilot

The fact that Arrival Filter 1 is currently closed can cause the queues at the other filters to grow. Given this new situation, during the Christmas period we trialled a follow-up pilot project at Arrival Filters 2 and 3. This pilot saw more screens installed, and the Senior Airport Control Coordinators directed the project from the Schiphol Control Centre using Wilbur dashboards that gave them the insights they needed. We learned that directing travellers to less busy arrival filters improved the flow, and that queues could indeed be prevented from forming.

Next step

The current pilot uses portable screens and can be used by Senior Airport Control Coordinators. The Wilbur development team is working on improving on the insights gained from Wilbur and making it easier to direct passengers. Technical difficulties still occasionally make information disappear from the portable screens, so the next step is to install fixed screens linked to our existing systems to ensure that this information is always available to travellers.