CVG is using AI to predict passenger movement. For you, that means shorter lines
A complicated computer formula may be the reason you are starting to move faster through lines at the Greater Cincinnati International Airport.
Layer by layer, CVG is adding pieces to its predictive passenger persona, the most recent of which is the University of Cincinnati’s artificial intelligence. The two have signed an agreement to work together on crowd prediction.
Stephen Saunders, formerly CVG’s director of IT and innovation, is already seeing results.
“Airports have so many different data models and data sets that are accessible to them," he says. "As you think about the entire passenger journey — from the moment you booked your ticket to the moment the wheels leave the runway — there are data elements that are connected to all of that experience.”
That data is plugged into CVG’s EASE system — or Enterprise Assets Situational Exceptions — a patent-pending hardware and software program the airport began using in 2019. Saunders is now its managing director.
CVG brought in UC aerospace doctoral student Javier Viaña to apply artificial intelligence to the system because there are so many variables like:
- Will passengers park a car?
- Will they check a bag?
- Are they with a group?
- When will they get food?
Using fuzzy logic, which is a kind of computer decision-making that relies on degrees of truth, it can predict surges of passengers in 15-minute increments.
“The important thing here is to work with algorithms that are called noise resilient, which means we are able to work when there is noise in the data or even a big uncertainty," he says.
CVG has already started sharing the information with TSA and the airlines so they can adjust the workflow of employees and open more lanes.
“We’re not trying to step in and tell them how to do their job,” says Saunders. “We’re just trying to provide them access to data that maybe they don’t have and utilizing tools that can make their service better.”
Saunders sees airports getting smarter over time. Look for the technology to take off. Other U.S. airports have contacted CVG to find out more.