Japanese airport aims at passenger satisfaction through mathematics

10 September 2015 (Last Updated September 10th, 2015 02:00)

Fukuoka International Airport in Japan is collaborating with Kyushu University's Social Mathematics Joint Research Unit to develop a mathematical process to address issues pertaining to passenger satisfaction.

Fukuoka Airport

Fukuoka International Airport in Japan is collaborating with Kyushu University's Social Mathematics Joint Research Unit to develop a mathematical process to address issues pertaining to passenger satisfaction.

The Joint Research Unit and information and communication technology company Fujitsu Laboratories will work towards developing and assessing mathematical technologies based on human psychology and behaviour.

While the policies suggested by the research team will be implemented by Fukuoka Airport Building, the team will collect data both to confirm the effectiveness of the policies and to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the mathematical model.

The model will be developed based on the flow of the four procedures at the airport, including checked luggage inspection, check-in, security inspection and departure control.

The input data will relate to passengers and procedures. Passenger data will include arrival time at the airport, the passenger's airline, and their seating class, while procedures data relates to the number of lanes and counters, and the amount of time to serve one person.

By inputting this data into the model and carrying out simulations, researchers will have access to such outputs as passenger wait time for each procedure, the wait time caused by each procedure, and passenger satisfaction, Fujitsu said in a release.

'Because using a mathematical model makes it possible to have a numerical understanding of policy effectiveness, it becomes possible to have persuasive policy discussions between many airport-related businesses, including airlines and security companies.

'Moreover, through this effort, mathematics researchers will begin to understand the methodologies involved in creating mathematical technologies that will take root in real-world situations,' the company added.

The field work, which will be based at Fukuoka Airport international and domestic terminal buildings, will conclude in August 2017.

The Fukuoka Airport operates through one international and three domestic terminals. It has services more than three million international and nearly 18 million domestic passengers annually.

A raise in the flow of foreign travellers to Japan has increased passenger traffic at the airport, resulting in congestion at the procedural facilities.


Image: Fukuoka International Airport serves nearly three million international passengers annually. Photo: courtesy of Fujitsu Ltd / JCN Newswire.