In summer 2018, the European aviation sector has experienced a particularly disruptive period of operations, with delay caused by weather, strikes and congestion.
Airline passenger numbers continue to grow exponentially and the creation of new capacity trails behind the continued rising demand for air travel, resulting in significant delay and passenger dissatisfaction. Together McLaren and Deloitte are responding to the challenges stakeholders face in aviation by developing a suite of solutions for the aviation industry.
McLaren Applied Technologies and Deloitte joined forces in May 2017. Since then the collaboration has seen us rise to the challenge to deliver the opportunities of tomorrow today, with data-driven products that close the “physical-to-digital” divide for organisations.
Drawing on McLaren Applied Technologies’ expertise in simulation and analytics together with Deloitte’s deep industry domain understanding, we are blazing a trail. We are moving beyond proof of concept and innovation to develop systems and processes that are robust enough to meet the demands of today and the future. Very early into our alliance we identified the aviation sector as a key strategic focus for our collaboration.
From data to new aviation performance
The aviation industry, like many other industries, bases most decision making on the knowledge of people working within it. This knowledge having been generated through years of loyalty and service. However, it needs to be shared and made readily available with enhanced access to enable a shift in reliance on knowledge to data driven insight. By factoring in years of expertise into simulations, more accurate, reliable, robust and meaningful predictions can be made.
Data and technology is best used to support, and in only some specific cases replace, the human decision-making process. The principle McLaren works to in Formula 1 is to deliver decision making at the point of most expertise and provide those people with the intelligence to support those decisions. The principle of McLaren Deloitte in aviation is the same; to provide people with the tools to support their decision-making, rather than rely soley on gut feel and intuition. We share a pragmatic view which centres upon the potential for significant performance gains thanks to technology supporting (but not replacing) people.
The knowledge and experience of employees at an airport or airline is critical to support data-driven adjustments being made over time. It is a holistic approach focused on delivering reduced delays, happier passengers, and saving millions of dollars for the industry along the way.
Airport Operations Performance Predictor
In response to the growing needs of airport operators and their stakeholders for more predictable, resilient operations, McLaren Deloitte are developing a suite of solutions, starting with the Airport Operations Performance Predictor (AOPP). It allows airport operators to deliver improved and robust On Time Performance (OTP) by enabling coordinated and focused delivery of the day’s flight schedule.
Equipped with AOPP, operational leaders can look beyond the immediate situation and manage the airport towards the best available result while taking into consideration the most relevant internal and external stakeholder considerations. Analysis of schedules against actual performance over time is carried out to identify areas ripe for improvement.
Designed to sit at the very heart of an integrated airport operations hub and based upon hundreds of thousands of simulations, conducted during every second of the dynamic airport environment, AOPP rapidly explores scenarios to improve predicted performance and provides a unified view of the remaining airport operations for the day to answer the most pertinent questions. What is our projected end of day OTP? What are the likely choke points in the operation and what are our best available options to avoid or mitigate those?
The software-enabled system navigates airport operators through better decision making and towards the best possible OTP. It can determine which arrivals and departures are most likely to operate out of schedule, which flights should be focused on to recover OTP and how to decide the actions which best mitigate the impact of delay when there is disruption.
AOPP is now nine months into its concept development, which has been done in coordination with Manchester Airport. Rather than waiting for events to occur, the goal for AOPP is to combine the knowledge and experience of employees with predictive algorithms to understand what is happening and, more importantly, what is likely to happen next. This is so that new and better plans can be formulated in advance to reduce operational impact the next time a similar situation arises.
The review process after events is a critical phase of improving performance and delivering a more streamlined airport or airline operation. By easing the decision-making process through prior planning, staff time is freed up to deliver post-event analysis. Incorporating this more formally into planning reduces the impact next time around. Crucially, the follow-up analysis includes both the data and the people involved.
The progress made with AOPP and its tangible benefits, coupled with the development of our wider aviation product portfolio, underlines McLaren Deloitte’s long-term commitment to the aviation industry. In an age where disruption and delay are almost becoming normal operations, we look forward to working with our aviation partners to leverage the insights available from advanced analytics to deliver smoother, more resilient, less disrupted operations.
Jim Newton and Martin Bowman from the McLaren Deloitte alliance will be speaking at Future Travel Experience Global in Las Vegas 10th-12th
If you’re interested in our aviation products, please contact us here.