After a successful discussion with the Research and Innovation team, it was agreed that NATS would build a web based portal for the one-off event.
The goal was to enable airport staff to monitor bus and coach traffic to and from the airport’s temporary terminal two, and keep an eye on flight arrivals/departures over the weekend.
The main aim of this tool was to connect the airport to the wider ground transport network; alleviating pressure from both the airport's internal systems and the city's flow.
✈️ Jason Gill, NATS Industry Domain Expert for Commercial Customer Solutions & Delivery.
The web-based portal allowed airport staff to set the state of air-side buses (taking passengers from aircraft to the terminal) and land-side coaches (taking people from the airport to the stadium) so they could see where everything was at any given time.
Because it was web-based, no new equipment was required to get it up and running. This removed the need for coach drivers to inform the stadium when they were on their way, thus reducing a lot of manual co-ordination! Being hosted online also meant that the tool could be used by several people around the business at once, meaning everyone could see what was going on at the same time.
NATS also added the capability for the tool to calculate the time to the stadium so that not only did the airport know when a coach had departed the terminal, but also the approximate time it would arrive at the stadium.
Travelling fans were then able to leave the airport and be on their way to the stadium within minutes thanks to Temporary Terminal Two, which was erected a short walk away from the main terminal building to cater for the extra passengers.
Cardiff Airport was extremely pleased with the results of NATS hard work in designing and implementing this dynamic tool in less than six months.
As well as helping the event run smoothly for airport staff, having better capacity management in place had a knock on effect on the rest of the city and air traffic control operations.
Quick discharge and departures made the speed in which aircraft could get on and off the ground much faster, resulting in more flights and less delay... two things that were crucial to Wales successfully welcoming the world.
"The ATC team were amazing over the weekend – they rose to the challenge magnificently and all ran on rails. The planning tool was incredible as well – it transformed the way we were able to proactively manage such a complex operation. Huge thank you to the Cardiff Airport team and the NATS team for all your support both in the planning and in the delivery of the operation."
✈️ Deb Barber, Cardiff Airport’s Chief Executive.
To emphasise the influx in traffic, this is how Friday before the match compared to a "normal" Friday...