How software is improving passenger & terminal operations

How software is improving passenger & terminal operations

Airport terminals are incredibly busy locations, with billions of passengers flowing through airport terminals every year. They are an essential piece of infrastructure for the air travel industry and they are getting busier by the year. The constant stream of passengers entering and leaving airport terminals poses a unique set of challenges for terminal operators, who are responsible for efficient airport operations.


In this article, we are going to look at four innovative solutions that have been adopted to make passenger and terminal operations safer and more efficient.


Resource Management System (RMS)


Resource management systems (RMS) help terminal operators effectively manage ‘non-mobile’ airport resources such as ticket kiosks, baggage checking and terminal gates. Using an RMS offers a huge range of functionality for terminals and takes a lot of the time-intensive tasks away from scheduling managers. RMS can improve terminal response rates in the face of critical incidents, such as staff shortages or delayed flights.


RMS is a component of a common use passenger processing system, providing improved functionality and flexibility for airport terminal staff. It is a useful tool for streamlining how scheduling managers work by taking away the time-intensive, repetitive tasks and automating them. This allows for a more effective rapid response if there is a critical situation that develops, such as bottlenecks. RMS is also used to improve the management of:


  • Ticket counters
  • Customer service kiosks
  • Departure lounges and terminal gates
  • Baggage handling
  • Queue and flow management systems (QMS)


Queues are an unfortunate reality in most airport terminals due to a large number of passengers and stringent security checks required before boarding. A QMS can streamline how queues are managed with a number of useful innovations. For example, automated real-time passenger monitoring can provide analytics and insights that allow for long-term planning to improve the flow of queues.


There are other aspects of a QMS that improves terminal operations, such as enhanced security and screening measures. A robust QMS can pick up on fraudulent passenger documentation, ensure health verifications are in order and effectively screen passengers before boarding a flight.


People counting system (PCS)


People counting systems are sometimes incorporated into flow management systems, but they focus solely on passenger headcounts. This solution uses real-time data and analytics to optimise passenger traffic. This involves inspecting how the terminal currently functions and identifying peak times to provide sufficient resources for the influx of passengers. The use of heatmaps can be used alongside people counting systems to find areas of congestion or bottlenecks within the terminal. This can help change how the terminal is designed to improve the flow of passengers.


Passenger tracking system (PTS)


Passenger tracking systems perform similarly to people counting systems and QMS, with a few additions. A PTS can be implemented in terminals to facilitate a more effective reaction to passenger flow, queue length and the overall wait times for passengers to board. It does more than this, though – it can detect who belongs in a queue and who doesn’t. This handy feature can improve security and ensure passengers are heading to the right departure gate.