2019 Wagner Prize Finalist: London Heathrow Airport Uses Real-Time Analytics

Given by Xiaojia Guo and Bert De Reyck, University College London and Yael Grushka-Cockayne of Harvard Business School at the 2019 INFORMS Annual Meeting in Seattle, WA

Improving collaborative decision-making is at the heart of airport operations centers (APOCs), recently established in major European airports. Our project’s goal was to examine the opportunities offered by the co-location and real-time data sharing in the APOC at London’s Heathrow airport. In the paper, we describe the process of how we chose the subject of a pilot, namely the improvement of transfer passenger flows through the airport, and how we helped Heathrow move from their legacy system for predicting passenger flows to an advanced machine learning based approach using real-time inputs. The framework we present can support the development and implementation of other data-driven systems.