AI Case Study

Heathrow Airport tackles delays due to bad weather with the use of AI

Heathrow airport is trialling a system of 20 ultra-high-definition cameras and an AI system to provide air traffic controllers information on runways when there is bad weather. Controllers are sometimes not able to get that information when there are low clouds, causing delays. By analysing 50,000 inbound flights, the system is aimed to alleviate delays and speed up runway control processes.

Industry

Transportation

Airlines

Project Overview

"Artificial Intelligence is being trialled at Heathrow airport to speed up delays caused by bad weather.

The airport will use 20 ultra-high-definition cameras connected to an AI system which will tell air traffic controllers when planes have cleared the runway.

The AI trial is part of a £2.5 million investment by NATS (National Air Traffic Services) in a digital tower laboratory located inside Heathrow's tower.

The trial will study the movements of more than 50,000 inbound flights in the coming weeks, and the system could be brought into full use later this year.

Kathryn Leahy, Heathrow’s director of operations, said the technology is a welcome improvement.

“We’re delighted to be hosting this technology – we need to be even more resilient. We normally have 10-12 days a year here when the tower is in cloud and we are forced to increase the spacing. In the summer peak, it could make or break a busy day.

“If the technology works we may not have to build a second tower to see the third runway. We will be really testing the capability.”"

Reported Results

Pilot; results not yet available

Technology

Function

Operations

Network Operations

Background

"As the UK’s highest control tower, it is most susceptible to delays caused by low cloud."

Benefits

Operational - Customer wait times,Operational - Process speed up,Operational - Network optimisation

Data

input from cameras