Lean thinking applied to airports

Two of our favorite subjects (airports and lean thinking) were combined in a blog post entitled, Saying Goodbye To Long Waits At The Airport. While not all long waits are solved, one of the key ones, being #23 for take-off while your plane waits on the tarmac, apparently is being solved with one of the simple Lean Thinking concepts … reducing batch sizes.

U.S. Airports have simply allowed airlines to use an ‘as ready’ approach to queing for take-off. That is, when you are ready, get in line. This promoted a get off the gate and get in line approach which wastes fuel and frustrates passengers. In contrast the Europeans use a “booking” system where actual take-off times are reserved. The FAA has gone to new software that allows:

Airlines to file flight plans with the Federal Aviation Administration indicating what time they want to take off. A metering program compiles requests, and takeoffs are scheduled in 15-minute blocks of time. Airplanes don’t leave the gate until their assigned time. And as a result, the conga line of 40 jets lined up at the end of a runway has been reduced to six to eight.

Lean Thinking at its best. Now if we can just work on some of the other issues airlines perpetrate.


This entry was posted in airlines and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s