About Helsinki Airport
Helsinki-Vantaa International Airport (HEL), also known as Helsinki Airport, is an impressive bridge between cultures. It sees millions of long-haul flight passengers travel through its terminal every year, and these travelers enjoy one of the shortest transfer times in Europe. Helsinki Airport served around 22 million passengers in 2019. With the Helsinki Airport Development Programme, which was launched in 2014, Finavia aims to increase the annual capacity of Finland’s largest airport to 30 million passengers.
Finavia Oyj is a public limited company owned by the Finnish government. The company manages and develops 20 airports throughout the country, 18 of which primarily serve commercial flights and 2 of which focus solely on military flights.
Due to its geographical location, Helsinki Airport evolved into one of Europe’s largest gateways to Asia and vice versa. In 2019, around 20% of all passengers were transiting through Helsinki Airport – a share with a tendency to rise. With a minimum connecting time of as little as 40 minutes, HEL is among the airports with the shortest transfer times in Europe. Besides walking from the arrival gate to the departure date, passengers might have to clear immigration and/or go through Security Screening. Frequent air travelers usually relate both these processes with queues and wait times. Enabling passengers to master both touchpoints within 40 minutes imposes a significant logistical challenge for airport operator Finavia.
To address this challenge, Finavia wanted to gather as much data as possible. For this, Finavia has numerous data sources, one of these being the boarding pass scanners that are installed at various touchpoints. Thanks to these scanners, a large amount of data can be gathered: for each passenger, Finavia knows when a passenger who is traveling on a specific flight has been last seen. The sum of all these data sets enables Finavia to determine a flight profile for every single departing flight. Lastly, the passenger details of each flight (passenger numbers and trip details of each passenger) complete the data set. All this information provides a meaningful tool to forecast Helsinki’s passenger volumes throughout the day and organize Finavia’s daily operation accordingly.
However, one important piece of information is missing: data on the actual situation at the Helsinki Airport’s touchpoints. And here is where Xovis passenger flow management system comes into action. Thanks to the passenger flow management system from Xovis, the Operations Controllers at Helsinki Airport can continuously monitor how the passenger volume evolves at each of the relevant touchpoints. And take ad-hoc decisions to better utilize their recourses, be it infrastructure or staff. For example, staff can be moved in-between different touchpoints for the quicker process of passengers where needed. Having shared offices with the Operations Controllers of Helsinki’s hub carrier Finnair, relevant intel can easily be shared with the airline counterparts, to facilitate decision-making regarding the awaiting of delayed transit passengers.
Results for the combined data sets have been better collaboration with Airlines and other stakeholders at the airport. A better understanding of the ongoing situation has developed Helsinki Airport as a whole. Helsinki Airport can now use the resources it has better, and this way improve the overall satisfaction with the passenger as well as the employees.
The Xovis passenger flow management system has been shared with the stakeholders, which gives them a better view of the situation at hand. They can utilize their resources on their own and do not have to rely on phone calls or their experiences and it gives mutual trust as everybody has the same view. Find out how exactly Finavia managed to resolve the issue and download the full case study below.