With the airport’s runways often operating at 98% capacity, there’s no room for error.
London Heathrow is the world’s busiest international airport. Each year, more than 65m people fly from this dynamic travel hub, which is owned and operated by BAA.
To deliver an exceptional travel experience, the airport’s 70,000 employees must manage a tangled web of complexities often unseen by the travelling public.
Colin Mathews, CEO, BAA, says: "There’s tremendous complexity because there are so many different operators but, I the end, we all contribute to one passenger journey. So passengers shouldn’t have to worry about whether t’s the airline that’s responsible for this or the immigration service that’s responsible for that. It’s should simply be they’ve bought a ticket and it’s a great experience.
Ruben Sicking, director of airside operations, Heathrow Airport, BAA, says: "With our runways operating at up to 98% capacity there’s no room for error."
Developing a ‘real-time’ programme that enables end-to-end oversight and control of airport operations presents a significant challenge. In 2012, the company needed to replace ageing, custom-built systems with intelligent automation that will improve passenger satisfaction and enable compliance with the European Union’s Single European Sky ATM Research (SESAR) regulations.
Heathrow selected Pegasystems as its platform for a key initiative within SESAR, Airport Collaborative Decision Making (A-CDM). With Pega, Heathrow completed the first phase of the project in just nine weeks. This solution automatically creates and dynamically coordinates every element of the operations required for flight turnaround in the shortest time possible, such as the exact minute the aircraft will land, which gate will be used, how much baggage must be offloaded, how long refuelling will take, when the next crew will be onboard, the time required to load passengers for the next flight and the minute the flight should push back from the gate.
Following implementation, on-time departures increased from 60% to 85%.
Enhanced resource planning has improved passenger throughput in the terminal and increased the efficiency of overall terminal operations.
The rapid implementation is underpinned by Pega’s ability to directly capture business objectives and quickly configure functionality in line with Heathrow’s requirements.
Wayne Holden, operations manager, BMI, says: "With CDM we get accurate and consistent information allowing us to deliver the correct amount of resource in the right place at the right time."
Ian Pauls, air traffic operations manager at British Airways, adds: "CDM and the data it provides enables us to give a better experience to our passengers."