Adelaide Airport uses GroundTransport to reduce operating costs and handle an increase in traffic
Adelaide Airport (AAL) handles millions of passengers each year and with numbers increasing by around 5% each year, the challenge of enabling passengers and visitors to easily travel to and from the airport is ongoing.
With 19% of passengers travelling by taxi, this is one area that can have a large impact on the traffic flow around the airport and the ease at which passengers can travel to and from the airport.
Dennis Killeen continues, “A large proportion of our customers travel via taxi, therefore it is important that we make sure we can handle these services in an efficient manner. We manage the taxi traffic by creating a holding area before they pass through for passenger pick-up. This helps to maintain a continual flow of taxi availability and reduces congestion on our roads. However, we were using a manual process and we needed to drive efficiency to make this less of a resource burden on AAL staff”.
For a long time taxis have been managed by providing a holding area where taxis would wait to go in to the passenger pick-up zone. This enabled taxis to be filtered through the pick-up zone, managing an effective queue and making sure that passengers could easily be picked up and travel from the airport via taxi.
Taxis pay a nominal fee in order to pass through the holding zone and on to passenger pick-up. The collection of the fee was a relatively manual process and at times was open to errors. A machine was in place in order to collect payment and issue tickets, however due to a range of issues including impact from adverse weather conditions or user error, there were sometimes problems with the process. This would result in taxis not being able to pass through the zone, creating a back log of taxis, causing congestion along roads and passengers waiting longer than necessary for taxis.
“The holding zone works well to manage taxi traffic flow, but unfortunately we would sometimes have problems with the process for collecting payment. This caused a chain reaction of issues, including traffic congestion and unhappy passengers that were waiting too long to be able to get a taxi. We needed to find another solution”. Dennis Killeen
Selecting a solution to support future growth
In 2012 AAL started to look for a solution that would help to improve the flow of taxi traffic. The required solution needed to be able to integrate with the existing access control equipment, remove the manual burden from AAL and make it easy for taxi drivers to pay the nominal fee in order to pass through the holding zone to passenger pick-up.
ADVAM was selected as the service provider, working with the access control system to deliver the GroundTransport solution.
The Adelaide Airport taxi system consists of two areas – the initial holding area and the passenger pickup area. The entry to and exit from both areas is controlled by the parking access equipment. Access to these areas is controlled by a proximity tag which is also linked to the ADVAM GroundTransport system.
On approach to the holding area the tag is read and ADVAM GroundTransport determines whether the driver’s account has sufficient funds. If yes, a green light signals that the taxi may join the waiting taxi queue. If there are insufficient funds then a red light advises the driver that his account needs attention.
After picking up their passengers the taxi approaches the pickup exit where the tag is read again and the nominal fee is deducted from their account balance.
In order to make the payment process easy for the taxi driver, each individual can top up using the web based online portal using either their smart phone or a computer, have their balance top-up automatically or top up directly via the Taxi Council of SA. This enables the taxi drivers to pay using a method that suits them best. There is also a Top up Kiosk located in the taxi facility building adjacent to the taxi holding area.
In addition, the solution provides a comprehensive administration tool, allowing the South Australian Taxi Council to register new taxi drivers on to the system and manage any expired accounts. AAL are able to use the management reporting tool to monitor transactions processed and taxi traffic flow through the airport.
Through the use of the new automated solution, AAL have been able to effectively manage a 10% increase in the flow of taxi traffic, without causing a disruption to other traffic around the airport or passenger experience.
“The introduction of the ADVAM GroundTransport solution has enabled us to not only streamline the taxi passenger pick-up service, but successfully handle the increase in taxi traffic which has occurred to support the growth in passenger numbers. The management reporting available enables us to not only measure transactions but to also monitor taxi traffic flow and volumes which assists us with future planning. With the automated service, we have reduced the manual burden and associated operating costs, but more importantly it enables us to focus on other areas of business – continuing to improve traffic flow around the airport”. Dennis Killeen