Northrop Grumman Extends Airport Realtime Collaboration Capability

Northrop Grumman Corporations (NYSE: NOC) Europe-based airport systems group has expanded its Airport Realtime Collaboration (ARC) portfolio to include new capabilities in passenger flow forecasting and queue time management.
The new ARC passenger flow module can give airport operators and security partners far better accuracy in their long and medium term planning and also early warning of unexpected changes in passenger flow rates, allowing them to optimise security search resourcing and so minimise queuing times. Existing installations have shown forecasts accurate to within 2 percent of actual flows and a vastly improved ability to meet queue time Service Level Agreements.

The new passenger flow module of ARC offers airports a simple way to use existing data sources in a smarter way, giving more accurate forecasting and higher predictability. This can range from long term planning to realtime warning of an expected surge of people at security, said Charles Houseago, managing director of Northrop Grummans airport systems group.

The ARC passenger flow module draws on historical and live data from various sources including car park entry systems, archway metal detectors and dedicated people counting sensors, and presents this data in real time to security teams. The system is able to suggest the optimum security lane configuration to deal with the predicted flow. This module uses advanced artificial intelligence software developed by VenueSim, a spin out from De Montfort University, U.K., which has been in operation at the U.K.s East Midlands Airport since 2009.

Alongside ARCs existing airport collaborative decision making capabilities, which focus on aircraft movements and turnaround, we are now moving towards a more complete view of the airports operations and, critically, the passenger experience. It is well recognised that relaxed passengers, who have had an easy passage through check-in and security, are more likely to enjoy their time in departures and use the facilities available. The value to the airports retail operations could therefore be significant, concluded Charles Houseago.

Northrop Grumman will be promoting ARC this year at exhibitions including Inter Airport in Munich, ACI North America in San Diego and ACI Airport Exchange in Abu Dhabi.

Northrop Grumman first launched ARC in January this year. ARC is a technology and services capability for the implementation of collaborative decision making solutions in airport operations and designed to provide the airport community with more accurate and timely information for enhanced decision making and improved coordination of airport operations. The ARC technology uses existing infrastructure to deliver a common situational awareness picture through web-based geographical and tabular views of the airfield operations. ARCs processes can be optimised to combine industry best practices with local airport needs.
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