Eindhoven Airport uses AI to improve turnaround process and make operations more predictable

Eindhoven Airport, in cooperation with Schiphol Airport, is using AI to further improve the aircraft turnaround process and minimise delays. This is part of continuous optimisation of airport processes.

Eindhoven Airport, in cooperation with Schiphol Airport, is using Artificial Intelligence (AI) to further improve the aircraft turnaround process and minimise delays. Using Deep Turnaround, cameras on the apron automatically detect the start and end times of the ground handling process. This makes it possible to predict the end time of the turnaround process and have advance visibility of when an aircraft is ready to push.

Currently, four aircraft stands are equipped with cameras to monitor the turnaround process. The plan is to equip all 14 aircraft stands with cameras by 2024.

“Eindhoven Airport works continuously on the further optimisation of airport processes,” said Mirjam van den Bogaard, Chief Operations Officer, Eindhoven Airport. “Deep Turnaround is a valuable instrument that contributes to this, both on the ground and in the air. The latter is something more long-term. Our aim is to be able to predict as accurately as possible when aircraft can depart. There is still a lot to be gained for passengers, airlines and our sustainability ambitions.”

The turnaround runs from the time an aircraft is parked until the time the aircraft departs again. In the meantime, ground handling activities are performed to get the aircraft ready for the next flight. You can think about boarding and disembarking passengers, catering, loading and unloading luggage, etc. To ensure that the turnaround runs smoothly, good planning and overview of the process is important. Eindhoven Airport achieves this with Deep Turnaround in which it analyses the data to discover areas for improvement.

Images from the cameras are analysed by an AI-based algorithm that records when an activity starts and stops. Once enough images are analysed, AI learns to predict when an aircraft is ready for departure. This allows the airport to know in advance if there is a chance of delay, allowing it to take action at that time. All valuable information is recorded in the Turnaround Insights Dashboard. This makes it clear at a glance which flights need extra attention.

“The insights provided by data help to make the ground operation more predictable,” said Lennert L’Amie, Director IT & Data, Amsterdam Airport Schiphol. “We’ve collaborated with various stakeholders on Deep Turnaround to make the ground handling process more transparent. It’s worthwhile to share this knowledge with other airports and learn from their experiences so that we can continue developing the product.”



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