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Revitalizing Passenger Experience: Bristol Airport’s Flow Managment

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Bristol Airport’s new flow management solution provides a seamless and detailed picture of how their passengers move through and use the airport. The information gives the airport added value, unlocks new business opportunities and improves services.

To help obtain an in-depth cohesive view of passengers’ movement patterns, guide daily and long-term operational decisions, and drive greater passenger satisfaction. the airport implemented Veovo Passenger Predictability passenger flow measurement and analysis platform.

The high-tech solution provides Bristol, one of the UK’s fastest-growing airports, with a cohesive, wide-ranging view of passenger movements from car park entrance to gate – and gate to car park exit.

This enables the airport to get ahead of traffic and passenger flow issues before they happen and to plan resources more effectively in and around the airport. It also provides retailers in the concession areas with better information to help increase their revenue.

Paul Davies Operations Director at Bristol Airport commented We wanted to introduce a state-of-the-art technical solution to airports’ challenges in improving customer flow management in the terminal.  We had very high expectations prior to the introduction of the system, and I am very happy to say that the outcome has proved very successful. 

The operator understands that to improve individual areas of operations, passengers´ journeys must be seen as one process rather than as a string of isolated events. Understanding that all individual events influence each other is key to unlocking potential gains. Bristol and other airports such as Amsterdam Schiphol have recognised that comprehensive passenger flow data is indispensable for guiding physical expansion plans and streamlining operations to accommodate rapid passenger volume growth.

As the solution enables the airport to measure and identify flow patterns throughout the entire airport, it allows them to see the impact of the various actions they implement.  With improved operational efficiency and more streamlined check-in and security processes, passengers at Bristol Airport will not only enjoy a faster and more pleasant transit experience but inevitably also spend more time in the concession areas, giving the airport’s retailers the opportunity to maximise non-aviation revenue.

Phil Holder Head of Operations Support at Bristol Airport commentedNow we have coverage at our fingertips 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We can now record information more consistently, enabling us to use service level agreements more fairly—not just over selected periods. In addition, as the solution collects data in real-time, it provides early warning if congestion occurs. This rapid information allows us to take fast, proactive measures before the situation escalates, such as opening up additional lines, reducing the risk of bottlenecks and frustrated passengers.”

Live wait time Information to ease passengers’ minds

Holder also mentions the benefits of displaying wait-time information, saying that by displaying the length of time passengers could expect to be in the queue, their minds are set at ease, reducing their stress, as they are automatically reassured that there is no issue with this part of their ongoing journey.

Using flow data to boost non-aviation revenue

Bristol Airport can retrieve both live and empirical metrics about queue wait times in its processes, and specific flow patterns, such as walking routes, entrance and exit usage, and time spent in specific areas, such as carpark, check-in, security, lounges, gates, immigration and more. Patterns can be averaged over a day, week, month, specific time of day, holidays, or a range of other metrics. Ultimately, this enhances the understanding of how disruptions or changes affect standard behaviour and helps the airport to optimise its operations in areas of interest.

Phil Holder added that  “We will have a view of stacked passenger dwell times for each of the airport areas, from all car park entries right through to the boarding gates and immigration. The data will help indicate which processes we need to improve, for instance, the number and frequency of car park buses. We can measure when passengers arrive and how long it takes them to get to the terminal, which will help us plan bus timetables. By linking it to the boarding gates, we will have a good idea of when passengers travelling to different destinations choose to turn up at the airport. It will also enable us to evaluate whether there is a need to increase the throughput in security if airside concession dwell time is low,”

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