Airports have long faced challenges in managing passenger flows and predicting waiting times, which can vary widely. Travellers can find themselves waiting for hours at the airport, which can affect their experience within the airport. To address these issues, more and more airports are beginning to use artificial intelligence (AI) to predict waiting times and thus improve passenger flows.

How to predict waiting times using artificial intelligence ?

AI is used in airports to collect and analyse real-time data on waiting times and passenger flows. Airports can collect data from various information sources such as flight bookings, passenger location data via their smartphones, security data and different waiting times at security checks.

For example, they can use surveillance cameras to detect long queues and then send alerts to their staff so that they can react and open additional queues to reduce waiting times.

One of the most common uses of AI in airports is the prediction of wait times at security and immigration. Airports can use real-time data to predict future wait times, using machine learning algorithms to analyse historical and real-time wait times.

Waiting time prediction, data analysis and security

By analysing historical data and using predictive algorithms, AI can provide accurate forecasts of waiting times, allowing passengers to better plan their waiting time at the airport. Airports can also use these forecasts to plan the human resources and equipment needed at different checkpoints, which can help improve efficiency.

In addition, AI can also be used to optimise passenger flows at the airport. By analysing passenger location data and using optimisation algorithms, AI can help airports to forecast passenger volumes and adjust the necessary resources in real time. For example, airports will be able to use AI to determine the optimal number of queues to open based on expected passenger volumes, or adjust queue sizing based on expected waiting times.

Finally, airports can use AI to improve security at the airport. AI algorithms can be used to analyse security camera images and detect suspicious behaviour, abandoned luggage or even dangerous objects. Using machine learning techniques, AI can learn to recognise suspicious behaviour and alert security officers in real time.

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