Ronald Grosmann is Senior R&D Manager in Air Traffic Management and Airport Operation at the Netherlands Aerospace Centre NLR. Within the PASSME project, he is leader of Work Package 4 (WP4) and is responsible for the development of a proactive, real-time Passenger Demand Forecast (PDF) system for airports. The Netherlands Aerospace Centre NLR will collaborate closely with Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, Hamburg Airport, the German Aerospace Centre DLR, the University of Nottingham, the Technical University of Hamburg, the Institute of Communication and Computer Systems, Almadesign and Carr Communications to build this system.
Airports of the future will have sensors located throughout the airport terminal building providing operators with information on passenger locations, volumes and behaviours. They will also receive data from personalised devices passengers will carry with them, such as airport applications on their smartphones. This will allow airports to make real-time responses to airport services, depending on the passenger volumes the Passenger Demand Forecasting systems anticipate.
In response to the future technology demands of airports, the primary objective of WP4 will be to develop a PASSME PDF system. This system will combine sensor observation analysis, passenger behaviour data and information from the airport operations plan. Our aim is that the PDF system will provide the airport and its stakeholders with passenger density information for specific areas in the airport terminal building, from security to the boarding gate.
The PDF system will be based on a number of passenger-centric models which will be created during the project lifetime. These will include:
- Computational model for continuous and proactive forecasting
- Computational model for individual passenger behaviour
- Computational model for processing sensor observation analysis
Once it is fully developed and operational, the PDF system will have huge benefits for the entire aviation community. The airport and its stakeholders may use the data to optimise their planning based on the results of the PDF system. The stakeholder system will allow each stakeholder to upscale and downscale their services to perform in a way which is more time and cost efficient. Airports may predict precise demand for check-in, customs, security and boarding areas. Even simple processes, such as toilet cleaning and general maintenance may be rescheduled to off-peak periods to improve the passenger flow. This will have massive savings benefits for the airports. Most importantly, it will allow them to provide a better service to passengers, who will benefit directly from this. For passengers of the future, the airport journey will be a more convenient and less stressful experience as a result of this PDF system. This is just one part of improving communications (this word is kind of out of context in this sentence-suggest instead: passenger-centric information flow across the entire airport community.
WP4 has recently submitted their first report on the PDF system to the European Commission (The Operational Concept, Deliverable 4.1). At present, the requirements for the system are being researched and defined, and a complete specification is being built which will contribute to the next WP4 deliverable (D4.2).