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Cloud-based Airport Operations Planning tool with holistic forecasting of airport allocation planning.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - BA-AC (Cloud-based Airport Operations Planning tool with holistic forecasting of airport allocation planning.)

Reporting period: 2019-10-01 to 2020-09-30

At the end of 2018, airports were facing an increasing challenge of high sustained demand for passenger air travel. Before the COVID-19 crisis it was expected that the demand in traffic would increase with 15% by 2025, with 40% of EU airports not meeting this demand due to capacity constraints. Today the outlook for traffic recovery looks slow with recovery expecting to take several years. Despite the current COVID-19 situation, we are optimistic that the market will rebound again in the following years. Now more than even, airport operations must plan efficiently and effectively to cope with the ever-changing volatility in passenger traffic. Although total air traffic numbers are lower than before Covid-19 across the board, we do see indications that peak-time traffic is returning relatively faster than shoulder-time traffic. Airports will face challenges of varying intensity: for example, whereas physical distancing poses limited issues while traffic is very low, it will increasingly complicate operations as more passengers crowd the terminals. Because of this it is expected that airports will run into the need for improved optimization of existing capacity and infrastructure.

Despite the corona crisis, airport operators are left with two options to achieve future growth: either investing in expanding the airport in size or optimizing the utilization of existing resources to increase efficiency. Given this crisis's size, we expect that CAPEX investments will be lower in the years to come, prioritizing investment in optimizing current infrastructure. At the same time, operating an airport is a very complex task involving many stakeholders, making it difficult to identify options for increasing efficiencies. New EU initiatives are pushing airport operators to adopt data-driven solutions, as current systems have minimal ability to share and apply operational planning information across stakeholders. As a result, airport operators need a solution that combines all airport operational aspects into a holistic overview. With the right technology in place, this would enable airport operators to process data from multiple processes to ensure a combined optimization of the use of resources within the airport, providing a better flow of passengers, bags, and aircraft and ultimately a more efficient and optimized airport operation.

Better Airport® is the first cloud-based, holistic, next-generation RMS solution, providing airport operators with an AI-driven, easy-to-use solution which efficiently and effectively creates optimized operational plans, enabling informed decision making across airport stakeholders. Using advanced mathematical models and based on years of consultancy within airport operations, Better Airport® covers the entire value chain, from passenger check-in, security, and border control to baggage handling and aircraft allocation. Our cloud-based approach allows all stakeholders to access information wherever, whenever, increasing efficiency across operations and ultimately saving airports at least €10m/year, while also driving the EU goal of a Single European Sky. Better Airport® will allow airport operators to forecast, plan, and interact with airports in between, connecting all airports with one system.

The BA-AC project builds upon upscaling our validated prototype. Most of our efforts will focus on technology maturation, piloting and market maturation, specifically on the maturation and integration of Better Aircraft, into Better Airport®, and perform large-scale piloting at three major airports, advancing our current prototype from TRL7 to TRL 9.
Since we started working on the BA-AC project, Better Stand & Gate has matured significantly and entered its testing phase period before becoming the final piece completing our Better Airport® software package. The product interface and the AI algorithm have been successfully implemented and integrated into our Better Airport software. Our next steps are to refine the product during the pilot phase with our testing airports allowing us to advance our current prototype from TRL7 to TRL9.

Our marketing team has made significant progress in our digitalization of marketing and sales activities and will continue developing our digital maturity even further. Marketing development has moved from primarily being outbound to being heavily inbound marketing increasing our lead generation by 69%.

Despite COVID-19, both our development and sales teams have progressed with their respective agendas developing and maturing Better Airport, adapting to the new market trends, and searching for new leads and opportunities to increase our product sales and expand our business globally. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic we have maintained our client base in addition to adding new airports to our Better Airport partner base. We are proud to say that more than 500million passengers per anno go through airports planned in Better Airport® during normal traffic levels (pre-COVID)

To conclude, even though the airport industry is facing one of their most significant crises in history, the team at Copenhagen Optimization has been able to adapt to the challenges and continue to help airports around the globe. We are on the way to delivering a new and innovative product to the industry. The product Better Airport® has already proven itself valuable in managing volatile airport management as seen during the pandemic. We continue to support and enhance airport operations worldwide as thought leaders and solution providers to the industry.
Better Airport® is a market-creating innovation by being the first holistic next-generation RMS, providing airport operators with an AI-driven, easy-to-use solution that efficiently and effectively creates optimized operational plans enabling informed decision making across airport stakeholders.

Ultimately, as more and more airports implement integrated RMS Better Airport® will lead the way for interconnectivity between airports, allowing further transparency and collaboration airports in between, not only enriching airport operational management and strategy, but also in the end, heightening the experience for passengers. With Better Airport®, airports will obtain a solution that enables decision making at both the operational, tactical, and strategic levels, which will lead to a more efficient daily operation and ensure that the airport can cope with future growth.

Better Airport® can support optimal operations planning also in a COVID-19 context as it integrates seamlessly with airport systems to create operational plans for the entire airport operation. This secures situational awareness and proactive planning and has during COVID-19 meant airports such as LHR, CPH, STN, SIN, and many more have been able to create optimized check-in counters opening plans that reflect counters unavailable due to physical distancing, balance allocation of flights, and bags to baggage reclaim belts to distribute passengers across the available area and avoid formation of crowds and queues.

With a total market of 575 airports, we expect 5 years post project, to reach a market share of 17.8%, totalling 89 client airports, an annual recurring revenue of €20m, accumulated revenue of €65.78m creating 47 new full-time employee positions