Valcon helping airport improve its security lane flows with data insights

05 May 2023 3 min. read

Valcon is currently helping a top 10 European airport generate and adopt data insights to improve the performance of its security lane – one of the key bottlenecks in any airport. A review of how the consulting firm has helped deliver a successful proof of concept and what’s next.

One of the biggest challenges for airports is to optimise their security queues. This challenge is particularly relevant in the aftermath of the pandemic, with the number of passengers up significantly while many airports still are in the process of returning to full capacity.

Facing a similar backdrop, a leading international airport in Europe wanted to gain a better understanding of how data could improve its current security performance. A proof of concept was launched, with Valcon brought on board to support the process.

Valcon helping airport improve its security lane flows with data

For the consultants, the central question they were asked to answer was: “Can the airport improve security lane performance using data insights?”


Based on similar projects with clients in the manufacturing and logistics sectors, Valcon’s approach was to treat the security lane process as a production process with corresponding key performance indicators. The approach was grounded in two main drivers:

1. Visualising the process and corresponding data points
Looking at the process from a process perspective, the first step was to create a schematic drawing of the security lane, including the agent positions and corresponding security processes. Based on the operation’s understanding, the processes, and extensive research and exploration of sensors and data sources, the second step was to map all the data sources onto a schematic drawing.

By combining the processes and data, a data blueprint was created. The data blueprint provided insight into the operational reality of the security lanes. This blueprint enabled a reconstruction of the daily operation at the airport based on real data events.

2. Capitalising on insights and creating an operational efficiency model
Based on the insights from the blueprint, Valcon designed an operational efficiency model that visualises efficiency and losses during the day. The model aims to facilitate a shared view of security performance across several departments such as asset management, planning and daily operations. The model can visualise performance losses based on three topics:
• Is there a loss because the assets were not working correctly?
• Is there a loss because the planning (supply and demand of resources) was insufficient?
• Is there a loss because of inefficiencies during the daily operation?

By visualising performance losses, the airport can pinpoint the exact bottlenecks within the security process that prevent optimal flow and performance.

Results and next steps

During the proof of concept phase, Valcon’s analysis demonstrated that data insights can improve security performance by visualising operational efficiency and losses, providing crucial information and serving as a critical enabler of continuous improvement.

The developed data model is currently being used to analyse the effects of new initiatives to improve security lane performance.

Following the successful proof of concept phase, the client established a multidisciplinary agile team with end-to-end responsibility for delivering products and insights to the business, covering all data initiatives that focus on the passenger security process.

Valcon has been retained on the project, facilitating several (key) roles, including ensuring the set-up and way of working of the team, developing new use cases together with the business, and implementing the products and insights to improve the processes.