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Integrated Multimodal Airport Operations for Efficient Passenger Flow Management

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - IMHOTEP (Integrated Multimodal Airport Operations for Efficient Passenger Flow Management)

Periodo di rendicontazione: 2021-06-01 al 2022-11-30

The airport of the future is expected to become a multimodal connection platform, creating the conditions for travellers to reach their destination by the most efficient and sustainable combination of modes and allowing the airport and its surrounding region to make a better use of their resources. The goal of IMHOTEP was to develop a concept of operations and a set of data analysis methods, predictive models and decision support tools that enable information sharing, common situational awareness and real-time collaborative decision-making between airports and ground transport stakeholders.

The specific objectives of the project were the following:
1. Propose a concept of operations for the extension of airport collaborative decision-making to ground transport stakeholders, including local transport authorities, traffic agencies, transport operators and mobility service providers.
2. Develop new data collection, analysis and fusion methods able to provide a comprehensive view of the door-to-door passenger trajectory through the coherent integration of different types of passenger movement data collected from personal mobile devices and digital sensors.
3. Develop predictive models and decision support tools able to anticipate the evolution of an airport’s passenger flows within the day of operations, with the aim of enabling real-time collaborative decision-making between airports and ground transport stakeholders and enhanced passenger information services.
4. Validate the proposed concept through a set of case studies conducted in collaboration with airports, local transport authorities and transport operators.
IMHOTEP has proposed a new SESAR Solution, Multimodal Collaborative Decision Making based on Advanced Passenger Flow Prediction, which enables collaborative decision-making involving air transport and ground transport stakeholders with the aim of facilitating a more efficient management of passenger flows and enhancing passenger experience. Data on airport and surface transport operations is integrated with passenger mobility data collected from personal mobile devices to measure door-to-gate and gate-to-door passenger itineraries and provide real-time forecasts of the evolution of passenger flows under different possible management actions, supporting airports and ground transport operators in determining the course of action that maximises the quality, efficiency and sustainability of the passenger journey. The new Solution includes:

1) A new concept of operations, named as Multimodal Collaborative Decision Making (MCDM), based on three pillars: (i) the inclusion of ground transport stakeholders into airport collaborative decision-making processes; (ii) a passenger-centric view where the so-called passenger activity-travel diaries, consisting in a permanently updated reconstruction of the passenger door-to-gate and gate-to-door flows, become the central information element; and (iii) the applicability to airports with different levels of automation. The proposed concept of operations is designed around 5 main functions. Function #1 provides an initial picture of the flows of departing, connecting and arriving passengers prior to the day of operations. This information can be used by stakeholders to adequately plan and allocate resources. Function #2 and Function #3 use real-time data to obtain a more accurate picture on the current status of the transport system as the day develops. For CDM airports, Function #4 is in charge of connecting the A-CDM and the MCDM platforms so that both systems can exchange information. Function #5 supports the collaborative management of disruptions, by enabling the evaluation of a set of KPIs under different management actions and helping stakeholders decide on the best course of action.

2) A toolset that enables the assessment of the operational impact of different management measures on the airport terminal processes, the airport’s surface access system and the passenger flows. The IMHOTEP Decision Support Toolset comprises:
- A set of data analytics methods able to reconstruct passenger trajectories. The proposed approach relies on the fusion of a variety of data, including data from personal mobile devices, passenger surveys and boarding card reader data. The output of this process is a complete description of the passenger itineraries from door-to-gate and gate-to-door. The information available from individual activity-travel diaries can then be filtered and aggregated to produce different KPIs
- A set of predictive models able to short-term forecast the evolution of passenger flows in both the airport access and egress legs and the terminal processes. The passenger terminal processes have been modelled using CAST Terminal, an agent-based simulation software able to simulate the movement of passengers inside the terminal. Airport access and egress have been modelled using Aimsun Next, a traffic simulation software that reproduces the movement of different types of vehicles within the transport network. Once implemented and calibrated, both models were integrated to provide a holistic, consistent view of the passenger flows.
- An interactive dashboard that supports ‘what-if' analyses and real-time collaborative decision-making between airports and ground transport stakeholders.

To demonstrate the IMHOTEP solution and evaluate its benefits, case studies were conducted at two airports with heterogeneous characteristics: Palma de Mallorca and London City. A participatory approach was used to integrate the inputs from relevant stakeholders and identify the most interesting disruption scenarios, management actions and KPIs for each airport. The simulation experiments showed that a shared, holistic view of the passenger flows can bring significant benefits to the involved stakeholders as well as to the passengers and the environment, such as more efficient allocation of resources, shortening of travel times both in airport access/egress and in the airport terminal, reduction of the number of flights missed by passengers, and reduction of congestion and CO2 emissions in airport access.
IMHOTEP has delivered different advances in the state-of-the-art, including: (i) the ability to characterise passenger itineraries with an unprecedented level of accuracy and detail; (ii) the integrated modelling of airport access/egress and terminal processes; (iii) the Multimodal Collaborative Decision Making (MCDM) concept, which extends airport collaborative decision making to ground transport modes, enabling the optimisation of the performance of the multimodal transport system as a whole.

The project results are expected to have an impact at different levels:
- Enhancement of the passenger experience by improving the integration between air transport and other transport modes.
- Improvement of environmental sustainability by increasing the modal share of collective public transport in airport access, thanks to better coordination between the airport and public transport operators.
- Reduction of capacity bottlenecks and increase of airport cost efficiency, thanks to a more accurate characterisation and forecasting of passenger flows.

Ultimately, the results of IMHOTEP will contribute to realising the vision of a multimodal European transport system where the different modes are seamlessly integrated, so that passengers travel from door to door in a more efficient, sustainable and resilient manner.