Groupe ADP (Paris Airports), IT department, an international airport operator.
Most of the world’s top airports are using digital services and technologies to improve the passenger experience and to improve their own operational and business processes. This has led to a boom in data creation. Although it has facilitated information sharing between stakeholders, for example with Collaborative Decision Making (CDM), the data is still largely fragmented between stakeholders and systems and is not used to its full potential. Together with evolving big data technologies, this opens new opportunities to improve airport efficiency and passenger satisfaction.
ADP is facing several challenges:
- How to facilitate passenger flow: continue the digital transformation, upgrade existing IT systems and add new services like biometrics for smooth and safe passenger processing…
- How to improve passenger flow: deploy new sensors, improve your understanding of the existing situation, detect events that leads to delays, implement AOP to steer, monitor and manage airport performance as well as perform post-operations analysis. Better anticipation thanks to artificial intelligence. Demand and capacity balancing…
To address those challenges, ADP set up a five-year framework contract with Egis to help them maintain and update existing airport IT systems as well as create and deploy new innovative systems.
Role of Egis
Egis has been supporting ADP (Paris Airport) IT department since 2018, assisting or leading initiatives across the whole Airport Information System (IS) area. The work includes all the components of the IS (technical and software) needed to maintain Roissy-CDG, Orly and Le Bourget airports in operating condition.
The Airport IS supports all airside and landside operations related to:
- Passenger processing;
- Baggage flow;
- Aircraft flow;
- And includes roads and rail accesses to Parisian airports.
Our carefully crafted team has:
- Knowledge of the ADP airport environment, organisation between ADP, the French ANSP and Network Manager, knowledge of Collaborative Decision Making (CDM) and Airport Operations Centre (APOC) concepts, and;
- Knowledge of airport information systems.
In addition, we have supplied a back office pool of experts available on demand (covering for example safety, methodology or particular system knowledge) and project management expertise.
To date, we have supported the development and/or deployment of departure passenger flow digitalisation (Fluxpax system and Biometric proof of concept), the Bagera baggage system and the replacement of the existing vehicle tracking system (Aquarius). This case study focuses on the MDM (Master Data Management) and iAOP (initial Airport Operations Plan) projects.
MDM – Master Data Management
MDM project is about the implementation of an airport master data framework, centralising all the reference data used by the IS (parking stands list, airlines list, aircraft registrations list, check-in positions, …) which is currently spread over a number of applications, creating redundancy and semantic issues. We supported ADP with technical and operational expertise as well as project management. We worked on the definition of the concept of operation right through to the final system tests, in charge of:
- Coordination with the operational users and the integrator: concept workshops, monitoring of the development, monitoring of the acceptance tests;
- Meeting operational needs and if / when technically not possible the definition of alternative solutions;
- IT and preliminary testing;
- Review of the technical documentation;
- MDM on site deployment;
- Project management: ADP internal reporting, planning monitoring…
To address several challenges during the course of the project, we decided to apply an AGILE approach. This enabled us to provide regular deliverables and to adapt the product to the user needs and and what was technically possible over time. Egis was the Proxi Product Owner.
We used a system engineering approach based on Entreprise Architecture modelling which resulted in excellent traceability needs / solutions and coordination with the iAOP project.
iAOP – Initial Airport Operations Plan
The iAOP project is about the implementation of a rolling operating plan covering flights and airport resources, including an HMI allowing users to access and validate the plan. The iAOP continuously maintains a plan of airport operations up to D+7 which is used by the APOC in charge of managing the operational performance of the aircraft, passenger, baggage and roads and access processes. Egis supported ADP with project management at project (iAOP, MDM, HMI) and program (PMO) levels.
To start the project, we led workshops to define the roadmap and the structure of the iAOP with ADP experts based on the SESAR AOP concept and ADP’s particular operational needs. Once again, we followed a system engineering approach based on Enterprise Architecture modelling which helped us to design the new database structure and offered traceability between input data (eg. sources, timestamp), intermediate data and output data. We also developed the technical documentation including the formalization of architectural choices.
During the IT development, Egis actively monitored progress and was a source of proposals and improvements. We also provided testing and data quality studies. To do so, ADP provided us with a large amount of measured and updated data in real time, accessible via an API. We were in charge of querying and exploiting this content, relying on a set of skills enabling us to apprehend large volumes of data (including data mining, predictive analysis and machine learning algorithms). We were in charge of analysing the quality of the prediction work carried out upstream by ADP, and identifying the areas / time periods of poor prediction quality.
We implemented automated data mining scripts, allowing us to efficiently extract and clean a dataset, perform numerous calculations, and highlight performance and reliability KPIs.
Egis worked on the HMI needs and monitored its development. Our first step was to organise workshops with the end users to define KPIs and data to be presented on the HMI. What is relevant? How to present it (first sight or detailed view? Numbers or charts?)? What shall be the update frequency?
Some of the end user requests led to updates of the database structure. Finally, we monitored the development of the application and performed tests.
Working with the ADP team Egis has successfully delivered the following IS initiatives aimed at improving passenger flow:
- Implementing an airport master data framework (MDM), the first step to developing an AOP;
- Developing a first version of the iAOP, using artificial intelligence;
- Developing a first version of the iAOP HMI as a project innovation with sufficient maturity to be developed by a supplier.
Egis also worked on the implementation of a new AOP/NOP B2B API.
To facilitate the passenger flow, Egis also successfully upgraded the Fluxpax system, prepared the deployment of a new version of the Bagera software and prepared the technical part of the biometric proof of concept.
All of this was achieved using an Agile and Systems Engineering approach that optimised deliverables and supported ongoing development.
Photo: © Aeroports de Paris, Cambon Sylvain