– CIOL Bureau
Airports all over the world are scouting solutions to enhance passenger safety and satisfaction. While information technology has eased the lives of the CIOs at these airports considerably, the Fukuoka Airport Building in Japan is contemplating using mathematics to find solutions.
The 5Ws and one H
The Fujitsu Social Mathematics Joint Research Unit within the Institute of Mathematics for Industry at Kyushu University, Fukuoka Airport Building and Fujitsu Laboratories has started field trials at Fukuoka Airport to raise passenger satisfaction by applying mathematical technologies.
In recent years Fukuoka Airport, especially its international terminal has witnessed significant increase in passenger traffic against the backdrop of a sharp rise in foreign visitors to Japan. As a result, wait times have become longer leading to urgent need to design a new policy to prevent passenger discomfort and stress.
The mathematical model architecture
In accordance with the theme of reducing congestion, researchers will build a mathematical model of the flows of the four procedures as a queuing system.
The input data for the model will primarily be of two types:
• Data relating to passengers will include arrival time at the airport, the passenger’s airline and their seating class.
• Data relating to procedures will include such things as the number of lanes and counters and the amount of time taken to serve one person.
By inputting this data into the model and carrying out simulations, researchers will have access to such outputs as passenger wait time for each procedure and resultant passenger satisfaction.
After collecting input data from the airport, researchers will mathematically analyze the effectiveness of changing the number of counters and lanes and implementing an in-line screening system.
Even when the policies are being implemented, they will collect data both to confirm the effectiveness and to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the model for continuous improvization.
In accordance with the topics, Kyushu University’s Fujitsu Social Mathematics Joint Research Unit and Fujitsu Laboratories will develop and evaluate mathematical technologies, while Fukuoka Airport Building will implement those.
The main goal is to:
• Reduce procedural congestion at checked luggage inspection, and check-in
• Develop security policies that can respond to changing situations within the airport.
Also because using a mathematical model makes it possible to have a numerical understanding of policy effectiveness, it becomes possible to have persuasive policy discussions between many airport-related businesses, including airlines and security companies.
Moreover, through this effort, mathematics researchers will begin to understand the methodologies involved in creating mathematical technologies that will take root in real-world situations.
Between September 2015 to August 2017, Kyushu University’s Social Mathematics Joint Research Unit and Fukuoka Airport Building will carry out joint field work at Fukuoka Airport to train the teams. They will also develop mathematical technologies to implement policies as well as test the efficacy of these technologies by using real data from the field.
As a first task, the researchers will build a simulation of the congestion that occurs in international procedures facilities, then carry out detailed on-site data collection, and conduct trials to test policy effectiveness.