Accurately predict traveller movements in real-time: Know how busy security lanes are

Imagine an airport where travellers flow through security lanes effortlessly. Where long queues at security are a thing of the past: managers have precise data to rely on and lead their teams effectively. The work floor counts exactly the right amount of employees. Costs are kept low, while high standards are met. Travellers are happy, have plenty of time to shop or to have a drink and a bite to eat. The airport of the future? SARA, an API developed by I-SEC, could soon turn this dream into a reality at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol.

Gaining control

I-SEC specialises in aviation security and is responsible for the security at Departures 0, 1 and 2 at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (AAS). On average, 40,000 travellers pass daily, which is more than half of all departing passengers. To keep a controlled operation, I-SEC must be prepared and know how many travellers will pass through the security lanes, at any given time or day.

Currently, preparing is not easy. A security request is based on historical data: a prediction of how many travellers are expected to pass through the various security lanes. Unfortunately, historical data does not always accurately predict today’s true traveller volume. This puts I-SEC on the back foot: they are not always able to prepare for the correct volume of travellers and are forced to manage the operation by reacting to it.

In an effort to gain greater control and accurately predict traveller volume, I-SEC developed SARA - Security Airport Real-time Application.

From data to application

I-SEC has fully integrated all of its internal systems (HR, planning, etc.) with SARA. Operational managers have full access to all necessary information through a dashboard. This includes: number of employees on position, how long they have been on the position, various classifications, quality analyses, number of operational lanes available, just to name a few.

All this information already provides a wealth of benefits to I-SEC and travellers. However, there are many more stakeholders who can benefit from the information that SARA provides. Think of the many shop owners, depending on their customers’ time for shopping. Consider the many facility managers, who are tasked with accurate budgeting and providing a high-level service, at any given time or day. And last, but not least, the operational managers of Schiphol, faced with efficient planning and staffing.

If more of Schiphol’s datasets could be integrated into SARA, a complete picture of its operations would emerge. This can be displayed in real-time on the SARA dashboard. By combining internal and external data, Schiphol officials such as the Security Area Manager and Supervisors Security Operations, could also carry out (preventive) actions within the security operations. For instance, by timely shifting the capacity from one location to another.

The future of SARA

The expansion possibilities of SARA’s functionalities are unlimited. Ercan Ertugral, Quality Assurance Manager I-SEC:

‘Feeding SARA with even more data and adding the power of A.I., will enable SARA to accurately predict traveller movements, almost in real-time. In the future, this will provide even more possibilities for SARA and further growth of the partnership between I-SEC and Schiphol.’

SARA means more than just a faster passenger flow. For airlines, it means fewer late passengers and thus, fewer delays. SARA thereby generates increased revenue for the many facilities at Schiphol as travellers have plenty of time to shop. The API allows operational managers to reduce costs, through efficient planning and effective deployment capabilities. Moreover, SARA can indirectly increase job-satisfaction among employees, by making an operation much more manageable.

Balancing the 3 C’s

SARA has allowed I-SEC to create a harmonious balance between the three C’s of cost, compliance and customer. Failing to achieve this balance has consequences for a variety of stakeholders. In practice, passengers could now be faced with longer queues and less time for shopping, relaxing, eating and drinking. As a result, our retail partners could lose income due to stressed travellers and airlines might have to pay damage compensation for missed flights. Furthermore, if travellers have an unpleasant security check, then they might choose a different airport next time. This also holds true for airlines.

A harmonious operation in which cost, compliance and customer are balanced: this is what drives I-SEC to further develop SARA. The benefits the API provides will hopefully lay the foundation for fruitful partnerships in the future - and bring the dream airport of the future a step closer.

You can always find out more about SARA and explore what SARA can do for your organisation.

If you have questions, please feel free to contact Ercan Ertugral.

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