February 23rd, 2021

How Airports Streamline Traffic Flows with Footfall Counters

Airports are among the busiest places globally, seeing thousands of passengers passing through their doors every day. Considering that every person entering an airport building is in a rush to catch a flight or collect a passenger, the speed at which traffic flows throughout an airport is fundamental to effective operations.

Imagine, for example, managing the traffic flow through one of the busiest airports in the world – Dubai International Airport – which can handle a whopping 90,000,000 passengers a year. Without footfall counter sensors strategically placed and combined with data-driven analytics software, airports would be chaotic, overcrowded, and pose serious security risks.

There are many challenges that airports face daily, and high people flow is one of the most critical ones. Footfall counting analytics has been the perfect solution to understand how people move and their impacts over queue length, dwell time inside stores, peak times, etc. Through its analyses, airports can optimize operations and tenant revenue, manage staff better, prevent security and safety risks, and enhance the passenger experience.

Maintaining the physical distance between passengers

With the COVID-19 pandemic looming, airports are undergoing severe and drastic changes to continue operating under extremely challenging circumstances.

Social distancing regulations stipulate that passengers must remain at least 1.5 meters apart at all times; in some countries, it has increased to 2 meters. In fast-paced and time-sensitive environments like airports, maintaining the appropriate distance between passengers places a considerable strain on traffic flow speeds and queue management.

Luckily, footfall counters can electronically measure people’s distance and automatically alert staff and passengers when distances are breached. Screens set up at check-in counters and other passenger service areas can be linked to the software integrated into the footfall sensors to notify passengers standing in queues when they are too close.

Passengers can also be advised of the expected wait time before receiving service, and staff can be alerted when lines become too long to deploy more staff to the counters. By placing footfall counters at all entrances and exits, airport staff also have a bird’s eye view of the airport’s total occupancy at any given time. It enables them to deploy staff and resources to ensure that safety protocols are adhered to throughout the airport.

Optimizing traffic flow

Airport layout and design have a significant impact on traffic flow. By understanding how traffic flows throughout the airport, managers can identify areas prone to crowding or overflow and redirect traffic more effectively.

Queue measurement embedded within footfall counters technology enables management to view queue lengths in passport control, baggage check, departures, arrivals, washrooms, and retail areas in real-time. It means that airports can coordinate service personnel, open up counters or even redirect queues for passengers to have a streamlined departure and arrival experience.

With the ability to compare traffic flow between various periods, management can predict peak travel times and prepare in advance with additional resources and staff. Footfall counting analytics software provides granular data for analysis such as traffic patterns in peak travel times as well as queue formulation during weekdays/weekends.


Improving retail and marketing performance

One of the benefits of moving passengers through queues as quickly as possible is allowing them more time to shop at duty-free retail stores. Footfall counting analytics helps boosts marketing and retail spend in three ways:

▶︎ Queue Management at retail stores: it provides quick service and ultimate customer experience;

▶︎ Retail pop-ups placement at the airport: identify strategic places as popular employing footfall and dwell-time data;

▶︎ Measurement of marketing campaign conversion rates: through footfall counters linked to data analytics software and POS systems, the most effective campaigns can be replicated to boost revenues continuously.

Tightening security measures

Crowded places are dangerous places. Footfall counter video surveillance offers the airport security officials a means to detect overcrowded areas and movement against the traffic flow that poses a security risk.

Real-time alerts can also be set up to notify security when certain occupancy limits are reached immediately or when they identify irregular traffic flows or activity. In this way, footfall counters act as an extra layer of security in airports.

As you can see, airports rely heavily on footfall counting and analytics to streamline traffic flows, reduce queue times, increase retail revenues, improve security measures and protect passengers and staff from safety hazards related to COVID-19.

Vemcount Analytics provides all of these functionalities and more for airports, retail stores, shopping malls, healthcare facilities, public and educational institutions, and a host of other industries.

Let us know what your footfall counting needs are, and we’ll customize a solution to transform your business.