Simulation Solves, Technical Corner

Airport’s Six Sigma Team talk Simul8

Gatwick Airport is the second busiest airport in the UK, serving over 34million passengers last year. Their Six Sigma team tells Passenger Terminal World how it has used simulation software to boost capacity and improve the passenger experience without significant investment.

The team’s goal was to redesign their current space to make it more efficient rather than resorting to building new spaces. Highlighting one of the main benefits of using SIMUL8 for this process, Michael Goacher, airfield performance program manager, said, “If we were to run the scenarios in real life, we would have greatly impacted the passengers, the handling agents and the airlines. It would be quite disruptive. Using simulation, we ran the seven scenarios in about one hour and came up with the optimal solution in a couple of hours.”

“Using SIMUL8 enables the airlines to picture and have a say in each of the possible scenarios […] The seven scenarios we ran enabled us to pick the right solution for the right airline to ensure passenger experience remained high,” adds Chris Baldwin, Six Sigma change manager at Gatwick. “Our research has told us what time passengers would like to reach a gate room, and so we have used SIMUL8 to see if we can meet that need.”

Once the scenario was chosen, they team put it into action – and checked the results against those they received from SIMUL8. According to Baldwin, “this validated all the figures that SIMUL8 has previously given us”.

Read the full case study in the team’s own words.