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Groupe Aéroport de Paris

Roissy charles de gaulle airport improves the travel experience with baggage load prediction

With close to 100 million passengers and 2.2 million tons of freight passing through its doors every year, Roissy Charles de Gaulle Airport needs to process and track a mind-boggling number of bags every single day, making sure they get to their intended destination and back into their owners’ hands in the same condition they arrived. The international airport’s mammoth baggage sorting system comprises over a million parts and machines, and an elaborate system of conveyor belts totalling 45km in distance that carry 100,000 pieces of luggage a day.

“With its baggage-flow prediction tool, Fieldbox allows us to better anticipate our team’s workload and book additional staff for busy days. Overall, big data helps us better manage risk and allows us to be more responsive and continually improve how we work, so that we can provide our passengers with better-quality service.”
E. Grizon Manager, Baggage Handling, Groupe Aéroport de Paris

The importance of baggage handling

For any airport, providing passengers with a superior travel experience is a top priority, and making sure that luggage is handled flawlessly is a key component of this challenge. Dropping off and retrieving luggage needs to be fast, easy and painless; bags should be handled with the appropriate care; and luggage must be routed to the right flight and destination, where it can be returned to its owners in perfect condition.

Operational challenges at an international hub

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At Roissy Charles de Gaulle Airport, a complex system of conveyor belts, sorting machines and on-the-ground manpower is used to route baggage from check-in counters to airplanes, and from airplane holds to luggage carousels. The system worked well but the sheer volume of baggage that needed to be transferred left the door open for potential sorting issues, and raised the risk of congestion, routing errors and control problems. Meanwhile, the physical size of the major international hub also occasionally made for long transport times to and from aircraft, leaving less time for team members to actually sort and handle baggage. Finally, staff scheduling did not always correspond to demand, and the baggage-handling department would find itself with too many people on the floor during lulls in passenger traffic, or not enough staff to handle the increased demand of high-volume traffic.

In order to get the system running more smoothly, Groupe Aéroport de Paris decided to deploy advanced statistical methods to more accurately assess and predict baggage flow, so they could take steps to schedule staff appropriately and maximize system capacity at all times.

A seamless journey, thanks to AI

Groupe Aéroport de Paris turned to Fieldbox for help. The industrial AI operator worked hand in hand with the international hub’s operational team to implement and deploy its “Baggage Load Prediction” solution for the complex baggage-sorting system at Charles de Gaulle airport. The software analyzed historical baggage flow patterns and context-specific sorting information to understand how the system worked, then used advanced AI algorithms to predict baggage flow volume on an hour-by-hour basis with more than 95% accuracy, up to seven days in advance. 

Armed with this information, the operational team was able to optimize staffing and maintenance schedules to accommodate rises or lulls in baggage flow and facilitate a faster, more efficient baggage-handling process.

Insight gleaned from machine learning also allowed the airport’s operational team to deploy predictive maintenance solutions, scheduling maintenance, ordering and replacing parts, and preventing system breakdowns before they happened. 

The end result? A better-quality, seamless travel experience for passengers transiting through Roissy Charles de Gaulle airport.


Optimize Staffing and Save On Unplanned Overtime

Avoid expensive unplanned overtime. Schedule enough staff during high-traffic periods so your team isn’t stretched to the limit or constantly dealing with the stress of last-minute emergencies.

Order Replacement Parts Well in Advance

Optimize your purchase price and never get caught off guard by ordering replacement parts long before you need them.

Optimize Equipment Efficiency

Schedule maintenance for low-demand periods when equipment is less needed, and extend the lifespan of machinery by using it more efficiently.

Achieving operational excellence with data insights

The data insights from Fieldbox’s baggage-flow prediction solution are available 24/7 to the Aéroport de Paris’ operational staff, so they can anticipate trends and drill down into the details to investigate and improve operational issues on an ongoing basis. The information is used across the board by airport operations in the control room, on the ground in the baggage sorting system, and in the company’s head office by executives in charge of overseeing daily operations.


The sky is the limit

Not just limited to baggage flow patterns, Fieldbox’s predictive solution can easily be replicated and applied across the transportation industry and to facilities with complex sorting systems that have stringent security requirements, such as mail and waste sorting facilities. Looking ahead, the smart system may one day be applied to all sensitive industrial equipment at the Roissy Charles de Gaulle airport–and even beyond–to provide passengers with a truly superior, effortless travel experience.