Long check-in queues, delayed flights and lost baggage – the typical airport experience is all too familiar to business travelers and holidaymakers alike. However, the emergence of big data is slowly changing the reality of using an airport. Transport hubs around the world are slowly trying to migrate away from being places of frustration and dissatisfaction by making use of available big data to become ‘smart airports’ – oases of calm that won’t make you feel like you need another holiday.
Sydney airport is one of the busiest airports in the world. It sees 37 million passengers and 300,000 flights per year. It is the gateway to Australia and is a key transit hub for travelers moving around Oceania and South-East Asia. It is just one of a new breed of smart airports.
Information about passengers, airlines, and baggage is key to effectively planning an airport’s service capacity, resource distribution, and staffing levels. In Sydney’s case the delay between the on-the-ground reality and production of charts, figures and reports led to a difficulty in offering a world-class customer service. The airport therefore took the decision to utilize big data to build detailed models of passenger and airline behavior so the airport could better plan its services.