Sicco Santema, Professor of Marketing and Supply Management, at the Delft University of Technology (TU Delft), is the project coordinator of PASSME. TU Delft runs an aviation and design programme, the aim of which is to improve the travel experience with design led processes. This fits in with the overall objective of PASSME. Sicco sees the aviation industry as several supply chains made up of many different silos, including check-in, security, boarding and other airport services. Each silo aims to improve their own individual services. However, the airport experience is a much bigger picture than one service alone-it is how the services function together.
PASSME has a passenger-centric research approach which addresses the important question- ‘How do you make the airport as enjoyable an experience for passengers as possible?’ Coordinating different silos in the airport’s different supply chains is essential to achieve this ambitious aim.
TU Delft works across many different Work Packages including Work Package 3, which involves developing a passenger based luggage system. In their role in improving luggage management, TU Delft is working closely with KLM. The PASSME project follows on from several studies the University has conducted with KLM to improve the flow of luggage in the airport.
TU Delft student Elisa de Kok worked with KLM to calculate the space available for hand luggage on board the plane, involving a measurement of the weight and dimensions of passengers’ baggage by the airline. Data such as this will allow airlines to anticipate any issues that may potentially arise at the boarding gate. This simple change has allowed airlines to use accurate and real-time data about passenger luggage, rather than generalised predictions, in order to optimise the boarding and baggage processes. Airline staff may now anticipate in advance of boarding if there will be insufficient space in over-head storage for passenger’s luggage. Any luggage in excess of the plane’s capacity may then be checked in.
The process involved in optimising luggage management is highly complex as many different stakeholders are involved, including baggage handlers, airport staff and airlines. Throughout the PASSME project, TU Delft have a team of technically savvy students who will engage with KLM to take on this ambitious task.