Technology

Queue sensors introduced at Birmingham Airport

Posted by Ben Irelandon
Queue sensors introduced at Birmingham Airport

Birmingham is the latest UK airport to introduce BlipTrack queue management, which uses sensors to give accurate waiting times and help manage resources.

It follows fellow UK Airports Edinburgh, Manchester and Bristol, which signed up in December.

Birmingham Airport catered for more than 11 million passengers in 2016, the busiest year in its history.

The BlipTrack solution is powered by Gentrack. Data will be used to monitor line density in real-time so airports can react yo disruptions or irregular operations as well as identify key performance indicators. Passengers can see the live wait times as they queue, which is designed to put their minds at ease.

The Bluetooth/WiFi will be used at the north immigration hall and predict wait times 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,” said Chris Wilson, head of terminal operations. “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.

“Today, many airports display wait times to their passengers,” said Christian Bugislaus Carstens, marketing manager at BLIP Systems. “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.”

Sensors detect mobiles devices, such as smartphones and tablets and tracks their movements to record wait times without any passenger interaction.

More than 25 international airports across the globe now use the technology.

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