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Let’s be honest: few people like airports. Between parking, security checkpoints, getting your bags checked, boarding, and — if you’re traveling internationally — customs, the entire process can take hours. But a new company hopes to make the whole thing a little less miserable with a new piece of software.
That software is called Beontra, and its creators hope that its predictive powers can be used to keep track — and even predict — passenger numbers, allowing airport operators to deploy enough staff to keep things running smoothly and efficiently. And that software has finally reached the United States. Beontra, which is described as an “integrated planning software suite,” is currently being used in over 30 airports in both Europe and Asia. New York’s JFK airport is now the first in the U.S. to start implementing the technology.
The system works by using flight operations and flight delay data from the Airport Operational Database — that information also includes passenger data. It then combines that with data about how early passengers tend to arrive to the airport, how long it takes them to walk through the terminal, and how long it takes them to get through checkpoints. The result of all of that? A simple graph that could help predict when airport wait times peak.
That data can be shared with airlines, TSA officers and immigration officials, who can then staff certain areas and desks appropriately when those peak times hit. Airlines can even choose to feed some of that data to the Beontra suite themselves, bypassing the need for the software to pull it from public records, Wired reported.
Beontra’s entire software suite also includes systems that can help airports track and predict revenue, capacity and investment planning, optimize their infrastructure, and even aid airport retailers in efficiency and profitability, according to the company’s website.
Although Beontra currently only offers traffic forecasts for three days, it could eventually be used to predict traffic numbers up to 90 days out. That, along with the continuing trend of airports becoming increasingly automated, could mean that — eventually — going to the airport won’t be as much of an ordeal as it is now. At least, we can hope.