British Airways brings AI to the Apron

Heathrow Airport
Heathrow Airport

British Airways (BA/BAW) has introduced Artificial Intelligence to help speed up getaways from Terminal 5 at London Heathrow Airport (LHR/EGLL).

The Advance Neural Networks will use a network of cameras set up around the aircraft stand which will compare live footage of the complex turnaround process with the proposed schedule.

If the AI System detects any issues that could put the aircraft at risk of a delay, an alert is sent off to the manager in charge of the turnaround via a smartwatch.

The alert will inform them of the issue enabling them to take action to get the departure back on track.

Video showing the Assaia AI System in action.

The system has been built by Assaia, a company set up under British Airways parent company IAG’s Hangar 51 start-up accelerator programme and is the latest phase in the £6.5bn investment the airline is making for its customers.

Max Diez, CEO of Assaia International said: “Our entire team is really excited to be working with British Airways – an airline that is prioritising innovation and sees the value of AI-powered solutions”

British Airways and Assaia have installed four cameras on three stands at Heathrow Terminal 5 for the initial trial and as well as reducing delays, the airline is also able to collect data on every turnaround carried out on the stand to help it improve its operation.

British Airways’ Director of Airports, Raghbir S. Pattar, said: British Airways operates up to 800 flights a day to and from Heathrow; we run a highly complex operation so efficient turnarounds are critical to ensure all 145,000 customers travelling through our home hub every day enjoy a punctual departure.

“Artificial intelligence is a rapidly evolving area of technology and I’m thrilled that we’re the first airline in the world to harness it to further improve our customers’ journeys through the airport. We are the most punctual of the major short-haul airlines flying out of London and our commitment to introducing the latest technology to complement our outstanding customer service is how we will maintain our position at the top. We’re excited to introduce even more smart, tech-based solutions in 2020.”

About Nick Harding 861 Articles
Nick is the senior reporter and editor at UK Aviation News as well as working freelance elsewhere. He has his finger firmly on the pulse on Aviation, not only in the UK but worldwide. Nick has been asked to speak in a professional capacity on LBC, Heart and other broadcast networks.