25 NOVEMBER 2019


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Article from BTNews 25 NOVEMBER 2019

Super intelligence at Terminal 5

Passengers flying from Heathrow Terminal 5 are being promised a faster getaway after British Airways became the world’s first airline to use next-generation Artificial Intelligence (AI) and video technology to improve punctuality.

The carrier has introduced advanced neural networks, known as artificial intelligence, to its airside operation at Heathrow T5 to help staff ensure every flight departs safely and on time.

Currently, when customers disembark an aircraft, British Airways’ ground staff manually check and record the details of 18 activities that need to be completed before the plane can depart for its next flight.

Tasks include thorough cleaning the aircraft interiors, unloading and reloading catering, luggage and cargo, and refuelling. An issue affecting just one of these can disrupt the entire process and delay the flight’s departure.

Now, using a network of cameras set up around the aircraft stand by technology start-up Assaia, AI is employed to compare live footage of the complex turnround process with the proposed schedule.

If the technology detects any issues that could put the aircraft at risk of a delay, an alert is sent via smart watch within seconds to the manager in charge of the turnaround empowering him or her to take action to get the flight back on track.

BTN will be testing the system for itself next month when editor-in-chief Malcolm Ginsberg passes through T5 on holiday.



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