Flight delays are one of the most aggravating aspects of air travel. You’re waiting in the departure lounge, feeling increasingly irritated and monitoring the flight information display for your delayed departure every minute. It could be a 15-minute walk away when the board eventually tells you the gate number. Then there’s a chance you’ll have to wait even longer to board. Flight delays continue to be a problem on both sides of the Atlantic. According to official estimates, 11% of UK flights were delayed in the second quarter of the year, while 16% of US flights took off late in total in 2021. Delays can be caused by a variety of factors, including weather. Crews being late with aircraft refueling, the airport unable to cope with the influx of passengers or having to wait for pilots, or severe weather. To tackle this matter of delaying high-tech monitoring can be implemented so that the airlines can run more effectively and eventually delays can be reduced. One such company is IntellAct, an Israeli start-up that provides this kind of service. According to them, if the airlines are a little more vigilant then this kind of issue can be avoided. Also because of Turnaround services like cleaning, removing and restocking cause a lot of delays. IntellAct’s artificial intelligence (AI) software technology has amazing features like the camera that can detect delays quickly. It can then alert airport staff or ground crew to the issue and provide a solution in real-time. If a gasoline truck arrives late, for example, IntellAct can identify this and advocate ‘parallel boarding. As a safety precaution, a fire engine should be there while the passengers are boarding.
“The concept occurred to me while I was visiting a European airport with a low number of movements [flights] and a need to increase volume, and thus the number of passengers in its airport,” explains IntellAct CEO Udi Segall. “When I asked the airport’s head of operations what it would take to improve flight volume, he said that if the airport could offer a shorter connecting time, it would entice foreign airlines,” Mr Segall adds. “Shorter connection times are mostly dependent on efficiently managing the turnaround process, which is where the concept for an AI-based solution to monitor turnaround services came from.”
IntellAct claims that its technology is now being investigated by a number of airports in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East, and the initial test is done by Israeli carrier EI. As per them, it could reduce the turnaround time by 15%.
According to Prof. Sandra Watcher who is a senior researcher at Oxford University feels even high-tech monitoring can cause concerns. Too much monitoring of the employees and luring employees by giving incentives can be stressful and dehumanizing. If the environment is too stressful mistakes can happen more and it causes much more trouble for the airport authorities.
Paul Charles, a travel industry specialist, believes the epidemic has “pushed us forward by approximately three years in terms of new technologies” that can help travelers get through airports more quickly.
He emphasizes how Covid has made it easy for us to use phones for more than simply purchasing tickets, but also for displaying personal information.
In this digital age, with all the latest innovations privacy is still a very big concern and in coming times we have to see how it is going to shape.