The unexpected and dramatic effects of Covid-19 have hit the aviation industry severely. In order to deal with the new situation and mitigate the health and economic consequences, many questions need to be answered and new solutions developed. This concerns in particular the operational processes and procedures.
The sharp decline in flight demand leads to falling revenues and requires airport management to implement adapted operational concepts and while reducting costs in the short term. Measures range from the adaptive deployment of personnel and the redesign of processes to the variable use of airport infrastructure and lead to significant deviations from normal operations. In addition, it is essential to ensure the health of passengers and staff and prepare for the coming gradual increase in flight operations. Social distancing, staff protection measures and additional processes have a massive impact on passenger flow, system capacity, transfer times and travel duration.
In combination a complex situation has to be planned, controlled and managed: changing demand and changed rules and processes in almost all parts of the system have to be implemented while at the same time high requirements on economic efficiency have to be met. For airport management the task is to plan and organize a smooth recovery of operations and minimizing the risks of disruptive operations while at the same making quick decisions and ensure continuous adaptation. At present by airports, airlines, associations, organizations and many other concrete measures are being elaborated and discussed. Below we give a collection of questions and suggestions from different sources.
In this webinar we presented the results of a study, that was conducted by ARC on behalf of EUROCONTROL and involved major European airports like Paris Charles-de-Gaulle, London Heathrow, Stuttgart and Stockholm Arlanda Airports as well as ACI EUROPE, EASA and IATA in the provision of airport and airline perspective.
On behalf of EUROCONTROL the Airport Research Center GmbH (ARC) assessed the impact of the COVID-19 measures on airport capacity for terminal operations by using a simulation test environment representing a generic airport and various sub-scenarios.
The spectrum of questions and aspects related to Covid-19 is very broad and in detail airport specific. With regard to passenger flows and processes and how to deal with operational impacts the following items are frequently mentioned:
Below you will find a list of aspects and measures currently under consideration based on client discussions and research conducted by ARC. These are no general or official rules, procedures or recommendations. The information here is intended to provide an overview of the spectrum of options and to support discussions. Please contact us for further input.
Results are validated and reliable concepts and a road map, which can be adapted accordingly to actual development.
ARC applies the full scope of state of the art technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI), Data Mining and Big Data Analytics. For the tasks regarding Covid-19 CAST simulation, allocation and prediction tools and solutions are helpful. Possible scenarios and measures can be developed and tested while significantly accelerating the planning process and minimizing risks of decision making.
Simulation based analysis allows to develop and test concepts with a digital twin of the airport and thus reduce the risks of a trial-and-error approach for passengers and staff in the real airport environment.
CAST allows to analyse potential scenarios on a scalable level of detail: Starting with a top-down approach, which could be a pure allocation task, further analysis steps could look at the requirements for passenger handling facilities. Finally detailed layout questions can be answered, e.g. how adapted passenger flows, new and changed processes and related queuing systems can be organized in the most efficient and rule-compliant way.
Quantitative results allow informed decision making and visualisation facilitates stakeholder discussion and communication.
Pre-operational and operational Real Time Prediction and Demand and Capacity Balancing (DCB)
The SECURITY MANAGEMENT and the PAX FLOW SOLUTION facilitate the prediction of the passenger flow demand for planning purposes (monthly, weekly, next day) as well as for real time terminal operations based on planned/actual flights, processes (also health check etc.) and rules (include social-distancing). Specially trained algorithms determine the resource requirements to achieve defined quality targets (Level of Service – LOS / Level of Health – LOH) for the passenger flow demand and enable an appropriate depolyment of human ressrouces in order to minimize variable operational cost while still meeting quality targets.