AeroCloud Optic gives passengers an anonymous identifier to help airports follow their journey through the airport for better real-time decision-making and more accurate forecasting
Liverpool John Lennon Airport hails it “the holy grail of commercial activity in an airport”
AeroCloud, the intelligent airport management platform that improves collaboration and operational efficiencies, today announces at Passenger Terminal Expo the launch of AeroCloud Optic. The first solution to solve the decades-old issue of understanding how passengers move through an airport, from kerb to gate. This follows successful trials at Liverpool John Lennon Airport and Sarasota Bradenton International Airport in Florida.
As the UN Aviation Agency predicts air travel to resume to pre-pandemic levels this year, airports need to ensure a frictionless flow of passengers at every stage of their journey from kerb to gate.
AeroCloud Optic uses computer vision to intelligently, anonymously and accurately track passengers as they move through an airport. The real-time monitoring of passenger flow means that alerts are triggered in response to bottlenecks in operations, such as extended wait times at check-in or security, which can be immediately addressed with additional resource.
AeroCloud’s artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) algorithms also allow airport staff to identify trends, draw learnings, and predict future scenarios to inform more accurate decision-making and long-term planning. This enables better resource management and enhanced retail opportunities for concession partners, which in turn improves the passenger experience in the airport.
George Richardson, co-founder, and CEO of AeroCloud, explains: “With AeroCloud Optic, airports can resolve operational issues in real-time and plan better for the future in a revolutionary way. Optic accurately predicts the future flow of travellers so leaders can make confident decisions on everything from resource allocation to commercial opportunities. At a time when airports need to improve the bottom line, AeroCloud Optic can help airport operations teams to streamline the check-in and security experience to get people through to retail areas faster, reducing passengers’ queue time and encouraging spending in a GDPR conformant way. Optic was recently described as the “holy grail” of continuous improvement, I am so incredibly proud of my co-founder and team for getting this technology to fruition.”
AeroCloud Optic in operation
AeroCloud Optic has been trialled in airports in the UK and US. At Liverpool John Lennon Airport, the solution has been used to better understand movement in the building – identifying peaks and bottlenecks, and where queues are likely to be – flattening any planning curves and increasing efficiency.
Paul Staples, Operations Director at Liverpool John Lennon Airport, comments: “Our slogan is ‘faster, easier and friendlier’ and this means getting our customers through to the departure lounge as quickly as possible through efficient operations. Historically, we’ve used other systems and manual methods, like queue counting, to track how individuals travel through our airport, but this just didn’t deliver what we needed. With AeroCloud Optic, we now have accurate information that allows us to plan more effectively at an operational level, while also helping to inform decision-making for marketing, and spend per head in retail and concession environments. We’ve never been able to do this in the past – it is the holy grail of commercial activity in an airport.”
Though technologies including Bluetooth and WiFi have been trialled by airports to try solve this sector issue, AeroCloud Optic is the first technology capable of anonymously tracking passengers through the entire process – from arrival, through security and departure halls, to boarding an aircraft.
Ian Forde-Smith, co-founder and CTO of AeroCloud, explains: “Understanding the journey of passengers from kerb to gate is a challenge that airports have been grappling with for years and no solution till now has been able to offer them this level of passenger insight without compromising on privacy. Working in partnership with our customers to develop AeroCloud Optic has enabled us to overcome this challenge with a real-time, SaaS solution that replaces the resource heavy, slow, and often inaccurate assumptions that were previously informing operational decisions.”
The next stage in AeroCloud’s growth story
The launch of AeroCloud Optic follows AeroCloud’s recent $12.6 million Series A funding round, led by US fund Stage 2 Capital with participation from I2BF Global Ventures, Triple Point Ventures, Praetura Venture, Starburst Ventures and existing investors Playfair Capital and Haatch. The funding will enable AeroCloud to scale up, with plans to double its team of 40 by the end of the year across its HQ in Macclesfield, as well as its offices in London and Florida. This will help it reach its target of over 100 customers by 2023, as well as delivering innovative new product launches based on AI, ML, and self-service.