In Queensland, Australia, sixteen domestic and international airports are involved in a groundbreaking research project to help strike the optimum balance between the implementation of future-proof security solutions and the efficiency of the entire site. The “Airports of the Future” project spans seven interrelated disciplines: business process management; business continuity and incident response management; human systems; identity management; intelligent surveillance; airport information modeling; complex systems. By optimising the various elements of the process, particularly addressing security and its relation to the passenger experience, the aim of the project is to develop an integrated and adaptive, ‘complex systems’ approach for the design, management and operation of airports.
Winner of the Queensland Engineering Excellence Award for research and development, the project involved the building of a command and control facility in the Brisbane suburb of Banyo, in which new system-wide research solutions are being developed and tested in a live non-critical environment before being presented to the various stakeholders. The project included six universities, various government agencies, several service providers and three major airlines - Emirates, Qantas and Virgin.
Partly subsidised by airports technology solutions provider Siemens, the result is a totally integrated platform called the ‘Airport Navigation and Information Engine (ANIE)’.
Supported by Siemens
Via a donation to Queensland University, which included a Siveillance Vantage command and control platform, Siemens also gave a commitment to training, support, the subsidising of equipment and the funding of software licenses. Siveillance Vantage acts as the repository for all the airport data collected. Its functionality includes visualisation and simulation platforms, a video surveillance network, biometric authentication equipment, digital signage systems and mobile technology. However, the project is about more than security as it aims to provide a world-class platform for the future improvement of airport planning, design and operations. It will balance the interests of commercial stakeholders with the requirements of relevant legislation, safety, shareholder interests and, most importantly, passenger satisfaction.
A streamlined future
Researchers are more than aware that the experience of air travel can be marred by lengthy processes and delays within the airport. The focus of the research, therefore, is on making airports economically more efficient and more passenger-friendly. The systems employed are designed to optimise deployment of staff and resources to cope with the ever-changing pressures of a busy airport, with automated counters to help staff make better decisions.
The new design-model ANIE is already providing Queensland’s airports with cost-savings and a more systematic approach to operational management. It also assists passengers who are able to track their information on their smartphones as part of a complete airport system. It delivers more streamlined passenger flows, cost reductions and a greater capacity to monitor security within the airport.
As a result of current research, travelers in the future will enjoy a smoother, superior and safer experience when they arrive at airports.