New AI technology expected to move people faster through Pearson Airport in Mississauga

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Published December 6, 2021 at 1:44 pm

New AI technology at the airport is expected to get people moving more quickly.

Leading-edge technology now being used at Pearson Airport in Mississauga is expected to help airport officials move travellers along more quickly.  

A first of its kind at any Canadian airport, new 3D passenger tracking sensors and software at Pearson customs and security screening facilities will measure the wait times, line lengths, passenger behaviour and social distancing of international travellers connecting onward to other Canadian destinations. 

Installed by Swiss technology developer Xovis, the Passenger Flow Management System uses artificial intelligence sensor technology to get its readings, and it has been used at Pearson since 2019 in the check-in area, according to British-based aviation website Passenger Terminal Today 

Buoyed by its success there, airport officials decided to expand its use. 

“A smoother connections process at Pearson, enabled through Xovis’ technology, is in keeping with our commitment to foster a stellar airport experience for all of our passengers,” said Glen Henderson, direction of terminal operations at the Greater Toronto Airports Authority, which runs Pearson. “It also results in economic benefits for our communities, the province and the country at large.” 

After receiving data from the sensors, the system provides airport officials with valuable performance indicators such as predictive wait times for specific passenger groups, process times and passenger throughput.  

The technology measures number of travellers in specific areas of the airport, helping to prevent bottleneck delays. It does not capture images of any passengers.  

In recent months since air travel restrictions have been relaxed, resulting in a significant upsurge in number of travellers, Pearson Airport has seen lengthy delays, lineups and other issues experienced by customers.

And the situation may only worsen with new rules stating all arriving passengers, except those landing at Pearson from the U.S., must either be tested for COVID-19 at the airport or leave with a take-home test.

Xovis North America managing director Cody Shulman said the system will help “optimize the trial-and-error reconfiguration process, the utilization of space and the real-time redeployment of personnel, making for a better passenger journey.” 

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