Airports of the Future, Human Systems Program: Passenger Experience

An airport is one of the largest and most complex systems in modern society, with passengers being the primary customers. To be able to improve passengers’ airport experiences it is vital to investigate and fully understand what airport users do and interact with whilst in an airport.

An important aspect of the Airports of the Future Project is the passenger experience. The Human Systems Program aimed to advance the understanding of human interactions with services and technology, enabling the design of airport facilities and services based on the passenger experience. Research encompasses both passenger and airport personnel experiences and needs, enabling these perspectives to be compared and included within a whole-of-airport model. This project also focused on identifying and understanding passengers’ movements and interaction between commerce and leisure with this knowledge currently yet to have received in-depth research attention in airport environments.

Based on close observation, we develop maps that demonstrate the movements and interactions between people, process and technology at the airport terminal, as demonstrated in the image below. This map shows of a passenger undertaking interactions and activities in an airport security domain. These maps contributed an insight into passengers’ activities and interactions, such as:

  • passenger experiences are influenced by the experience of their social group, as well as their own;
  • passengers are encouraged to ask questions in locations that lead to premature queues forming and hence a longer perceived queue wait;
  • passengers with wavers make far more use of landside retail than other passengers;
  • significant differences occur in process time when security personnel at check points assist individual passengers.

Airports of the Future and the pilot study were undertaken from 2007 to 2013.

The project was undertaken through QUT’s PAS Lab.

For more information please visit Airports of the Future.

Funding / Grants

  • ARC Linkage (LP0990135)

Other Team Members

  • Professor Prasad Yarlagadda (Led CI)
  • Professor Sridha Sridharan,
  • Professor Kerry Mengersen,
  • Professor Emeritus Ed Dawson,
  • Professor Clinton Fookes,
  • Professor Michael Rosemann,
  • Prof Massimo Piccardi (UTS)
  • Professor Robin Drogemuller
  • Professor Nara Srinivasan, Edit Cowan University
  • Professor Priyan Mendis, University of Melbourne
  • Professor Robert Hansman (PI) MIT, USA
  • Mr Stephen Goodwin (PI) Brisbane Airport Corporation
  • Professor Gabriel Lodewijks (PI) TU Delft, Holland