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Proactive Passenger Flow Management for Airports with an Advanced Forecasting System

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - AERFOR (Proactive Passenger Flow Management for Airports with an Advanced Forecasting System)

Reporting period: 2014-10-01 to 2015-02-28

The European airport industry is moving towards a new generation of methods and systems to be able to proactively control the flow of passengers within an airport. Such a capability will become an important factor of success, to increase airport capacity, lower the operating costs of airports despite of increasing personal cost and higher quality requirements, and, at the same time, increase the service level for airport passengers. This new approach is paramount to making the airports of the future more cost effective and strengthen the competitiveness of the European airport industry.

However, the European airport industry is facing the following important challenges:

(1) Lack of predictability and adaptability – dynamic changes or deviations of passenger flows in airports require real-time forecasting and adaptive execution control with smart algorithms for context-aware information sharing and task planning as quickly as possible

(2) Lack of flexibility – airport complexity and dynamism demands responsive human-system interactions based on precise predictions to address efficient infrastructure utilization and resource planning at airport checkpoints

(3) Lack of service – airports require an increasing level of comfort to increase passenger satisfaction by making waiting and queuing time more predictable and thereby stimulating consumption in markets and shops

The performed AERFOR project addresses these important issues towards a more predictable, precise, flexible and proactive control of passenger flows: the ability to precisely and instantly forecast the passenger flow situation within the next hours inside airports can improve this situation and bring significant benefit to the European airport industry where current passenger flow planning is executed mainly manually or with simple spread-sheet tools. The benefits include lower costs, better working conditions and higher profitability through improved predictability and adaptability, higher flexibility and increased customer satisfaction.

During the last years the engineers at Amorph Systems developed the innovative software product AMORPH.aero. For airport operators AMORPH.aero continuously forecasts passenger flows for the period of the immediately following 24 hours in a rolling mode every 3 minutes, offering the ability to proactively control and optimize them. The system has been developed for the reference customer FRAPORT and is very successfully implemented in the large airport of Frankfurt since summer 2011. Because of the great success of AMORPH.aero at Frankfurt airport and very positive feedback from several big international airports, AMORPH.aero shall now be further developed to a standard software product and established successfully into the European and international market.

Therefore as a first step, during timeframe from October 2014 until February 2015, Amorph Systems conducted this feasibility study including a business plan for AMORPH.aero that clearly defines the conditions, strategy and measurements for the going-to-market and business development.

For reaching this goal a feasibility study including a business plan was developed that clearly defines the strategy and measurements to be taken to bring and establish AMORPH.aero to the European and international market successfully. This encompasses

**Objective 1:
A thorough market research on airports in Europe and worldwide was developed

**Objective 2:
The definition of a realistic business case under consideration of already existing leads was performed over the first 5 business years.

**Objective 3:
The definition of a future product and technology roadmap with a time horizon of 3 years and based on market requirements was performed

**Objective 4:
A realization plan was developed and the according financial planning was derived which give a detailed breakdown of the realization activities within the next 18 months

**Objective 5:
4 workshops with European airport ind
Within the feasibility study the following 6 tasks were performed:

**Task 1: Market research on airports in Europe and worldwide
Main Results: As a first step within the feasibility study a market research on European and international airports took place. According to Airport Council International (Global Trade Representative Organisation of the world’s Airports), the worldwide market for AMORPH.aero is represented by about 1.800 commercial airports which are segmented into four Tiers 1, 2, 3 and 4. These Tiers are differentiated by the number of passengers per year. There are about 230 airports bigger than 5 million passengers per year in Tear 1, 2 and 3. Part of the total market, that is especially interesting for AMORPH.aero is represented by the 50 largest airports worldwide each with more than 32 million passengers per year. At the same time, these all are practically HUBs with a high percentage of transit passengers. A further main outcome of the research performed was, that currently there are worldwide only a very few providers of professional IT-solutions and products for planning and forecasting passenger flows in airports. The planning systems of these competitors do not offer the possibility to calculate and provide of operational forecasts to the users in real time. It is however to be expected that other providers are to come on the market soon.

**Task 2: Definition of a realistic business case
Main Results: Within the performed feasibility study it became evident that using modern systems for the accurate forecasting and scheduling of passenger flows as well as their impacts on airport operation will become a more and more important competitive factor for airports to decrease operational cost despite of the increasing personnel costs and growing service quality requirements. Furthermore the study showed that the main challenge for airports is to continuously improve the service level for airport customers at the same time. An important area that must be intensively covered is the use of fast and accurate forecast methods and processes for the resource scheduling and planning at process points in airports. The timeframes especially important are the current shift, the actual day as well as the next day for the planning of personnel capacities and other airport resources.

**Task 3: Creation of a product and technology roadmap
Main Results: A midterm product and technology roadmap from 2015-2017 was developed for the AMORPH.aero software. In the roadmap the results of the performed market study were considered on the one hand taking into consideration the different airport classes. On the other hand the results of various interviews with airport experts were considered. The product roadmap covers features that are required by the airports to be more competitive and more effective in planning and controlling passenger flows. These identified features were sorted according to requirements priority as well as according to development efforts (e.g. stepwise from more simple to more complex functionalities). The technology roadmap goes along with required features and stepwise e.g. improve prediction accuracy and performance, i.e. topics directly related to the efficiency of simulation and optimization methods and algorithms. Furthermore the most modern IT technologies as e.g. Cloud Infrastructure and Cloud Services will be integrated.

**Task 4: Development of a realization plan
Main Results: Piloting, demonstration as well as marketing and sales activities will be strongly intensified for AMORPH.aero after financial funding will be obtained. Amorph Systems will then strengthen the business development that is necessary. Especially winning new pilot customers (like e.g. Airport Stuttgart, Airport Munich, etc.) will be one of the most important targets to be reached within a timeframe of the next year. Being able to fund these pilot activities would significantly increase the chances in winning additional pilo
The main value of implementing AMORPH.aero for the customer is the reduction of running personal cost for managing and control of the passenger flow on the airport, reduction of investments into building capacities and significant increase of customer satisfaction by reducing the queuing times considerably by proactive actions. Customer satisfaction is measured and published for the international airports, annually.

As of now our reference customer FRAPORT has already achieved an increase of the maximum capacity of about 18% within the existing infrastructure to 64M passengers per year expected in 2015. By proactive management of the passenger flow the personal for the various control points and the personal cost could be reduced by about 20% by optimizing the resources. Queuing times have been reduced by 20 percent in average. Customer satisfaction increased by 15% at Frankfurt Airport. Therefore, the unique selling point of AMORPH.aero is the pro-active management of the passenger flow.

The relevance and rational for performing this innovation project was quite high for Amorph Systems since this project gave us the unique possibility to develop a thorough feasibility study and an according business plan that will be the base for all further measurements and will help us tremendously to reach our strategic targets, i.e. to bring our products and technologies successfully to the European and worldwide market.

We will take the following measures to to maximise impact

a) Dissemination and exploitation of results
The commercialization of the AMORPH.aero will be done by Amorph Systems with own resources as well as with partners. Focus will be set on the European airports first, but Middle East Airports have to be considered since they position themselves as international hubs as competitors to the European hubs.

Marketing efforts are concentrated of presenting AMORPH.aero on international fairs in Europe like Passenger Terminal Experience (PTE) as well as on international airport conferences mostly organized by ACI (Airport Council International), which Amorph Systems GmbH is already a member of. Webinars and social media are selected to publish new developments to the potential customers at Airports.

In order to overcome the deficiency of a small company the need for market development partnerships with established international airport IT providers like SITA, AMADEUS, INDRA or T-Systems might be a good choice to develop the market faster. With one company we already successfully signed a cooperation contract.

The next customer contracts beside Frankfurt Airport should be established within the upcoming year. As soon as AMORPH.aero has a second or third customer base in Europe or Middle East, the sales activities will be broadened to Asia and US preferred with an established international partner.

b) Intellectual Property, knowledge protection and regulatory issues

Amorph Systems has conducted a patent search (e.g. DEPATISnet, Google Patent Search) in the course of feasibility study preparation, in order to identify prior art in the area of prediction and forecast systems for operational planning, but no already existing relevant patents were found, neither in airport nor other industry sectors. To our knowledge and experience there are no regulatory requirements that must be fulfilled in order to successfully apply AMORPH.aero into airports operations.
Main AMORPH.aero Product Features
Frankfurt Airport Testimonial
Frankfurt Airport Experience
Reasons why to use AMORPH.aero
Increase Workforce Activitiy with AMORPH.aero
Screenshot of AMORPH.aero
Customer Benefits