March 9, 2017 8:00 am

Birmingham Airport joins UK Airports Bristol, Edinburgh and Manchester by implementing BlipTrack queue management technology from BLIP Systems. The sensor-based solution helps the airport to improve resource planning and to ease travelers minds with accurate line wait times.

With more than 11 million passengers in 2016, the busiest year in the airports history, Birmingham Airport realised that they needed a solution to accurately measure queues and predict wait times. After reviewing several systems, the airport enlisted the expertise of software specialists Gentrack to implement the sensor-agnostic BlipTrack solution.

“Birmingham Airport engaged with BLIP Systems, following a competitive tender process. During the evaluation of technological solutions, we met with a number of existing BLIP Systems´ customers, who had implemented BlipTrack in similar successful projects”, says Chris Wilson, Head of Terminal Operations at Birmingham.

Operationally, the airport uses, among other things, the data to monitor line density in real-time, which allows management to respond promptly and effectively to irregular operations and disruptions, such as opening additional lines. It enables the airport to comply with service-level agreements, and to evaluate and challenge key performance indicators with great accuracy. In addition, the live wait time information is shared with passengers on screens, to improve the travel experience, with hopefully more satisfied and recurring passengers as a result.

“The solution is used at the north immigration hall to measure and predict the wait time at the UK Border. The data really helps to understand the actual wait time for the border, and helps discussion with the UKBF (United Kingdom Border Force) planning team and resourcing plans for the future. By sharing the information on screens, we help reduce passenger frustration by creating realistic wait time expectations. It makes the passengers feel more relaxed and helps them to better plan the final elements of their journey as well as onward travel,” continues Chris Wilson.

“Today, many airports display wait times to their passengers. Typically, this is done by measuring dwell times of people leaving the line. However, these “historic” times may not be accurate for those entering the line, especially if the number of people suddenly changes or more lines open up. BlipTrack combines and analyses both the number of people in line and the average throughput of the area. With these two measurements, accurate wait times can be displayed,” explains Christian Bugislaus Carstens, Marketing Manager at BLIP Systems.

The solution works by placing dedicated Bluetooth/WiFi sensors. The sensors detect mobiles devices, such as smartphones and tablets. By identifying the devices at multiple sensors, specific and accurate statistical information, such as travel times, dwell times and movement patterns become available, without interaction from the travellers.

“It´s been an excellent project with great support from the design, installation and technical team. The BLIP Systems´ team are a credit to the organisation and have helped the airport immensely, with data analysis and reporting. Moving forward, we have plans to continue the project to incorporate other areas, such as the southbound security and immigration,” ends Chris Wilson.

Internationally, more than 25 international airports use the technology, including Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam, JFK Airport in New York, Copenhagen, Dublin, Oslo, Geneva, Brussels, Cincinnati and Auckland. BlipTrack is also implemented in optimization efforts in road traffic in Portsmouth, Bangkok, Zurich and Stockholm. In recent years, the solution has been rolled out in train stations, ports, ski resorts, amusement parks, and at events all over the world.

“It´s been an excellent project with great support from the design, installation and technical team. The BLIP Systems´ team are a credit to the organisation and have helped the airport immensely, with data analysis and reporting.”

Chris Wilson
Head of Terminal Operations at Birmingham International Airport

“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 system has capabilities of further enhancements which will provide other long term solutions in the future.”

Paul Davies
Operations Director at Bristol Airport

“With BlipTrack we are able to keep our passengers fully informed24/7 – both in the terminal and online – about what to expect at security. At peak times, up to 3,000 passengers an hour travel through security and our aim is to make that experience as smooth as possible whilst ensuring safety – BLIP Systems helps us do that.”

Adrian Witherow
Chief Operating Officer at Edinburgh Airport

“BlipTrack has helped us to resource our operations on the day, and to identify pinch points and potential build ups. The very accurate data is used by our staff to monitor operations, and has enabled us to provide an optimum passenger experience by displaying accurate queue wait times.”

John Seely
Technology Projects Manager at Dublin Airport Operations

“BlipTrack enables us to monitor the quality of the terminal processes to improve resource planning, and to perform consistent reporting to internal and external stakeholders.”Read more

Ward Decaluwé
Director of Operations at Brussels Airport

“BLIP Systems provides us with valuable insights in passenger processes. The insights are used to continuously improve our performance together with our stakeholders. BLIP Systems has proved to be a reliable partner, with a clear understanding of our needs.”

Martijn Van Boxtel
Operational Manager Terminal Logistics at Schiphol Group

“BlipTrack provides us with valuable real-time insights about passenger queue time dynamics. It helps our managers to secure low queue times at minimum cost, and also provides our Analysis Department with direct feedback on their forecasting performance.” Read more.

Esben Kolind
Head of Operational and Business Analysis at Copenhagen Airports

“BlipTrack helps us manage and eliminate potential problem spots within the facility. Sharing the processing time with our travelers provides them with peace of mind, so they may continue to expect a pleasant travel experience.” Read more

Gert-Jan de Graaff
President and CEO of JFKIAT

“BlipTrack provides us with immediate visibility to the customer experience and resource effectiveness with throughput planning. The solution allows us to put the customer at ease at a critical stress point and reinforces our expectations around superior customer experience.” Read more

Brian Cobb
Vice President, Customer Experience at CVG

“BlipTrack provides valuable information that helps everyone manage expectations, especially when lines get long. The solution alerts airport employees about developing bottlenecks which allows them to react to the situation more quickly.” Read more

Daryl Jameson
Vice President at JFKIAT

“BlipTrack has enabled CVG to continue our close collaboration with TSA to ensure that the passenger experience is one that enhances the journey experience rather than detract from it.” Read more

Candace McGraw
CEO at Cincinnati Airport

“We use BlipTrack to see when levels of service are breached and locate the reasons. It help us to identify work shift problems and to make more informed decisions.”

Guðmundur Karl Gautason
Manager – Operation Research at Keflavik Airport.

“BlipTrack allow us to gain a good understanding of check-point dynamics, and most importantly, our customers benefit directly by getting a better service.”

Anita Filli
Project Manager Landside Operations at Genève Aéroport