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In depth

GRASP Innovations – COVID-19 Push to Pull

Breukelen, The Netherlands – May 29th, 2020

Airports can be described as places where you as a passenger move from queue to queue; starting at check-in, to ultimately boarding your flight. The processes in between to some degree also depend on queuing; peak performance within a security lane requires a steady flow of passengers. Passengers are gathered in a queue before being unleashed on the security process.

When executed right, this doesn’t necessarily mean passengers are waiting long – as queues can move fast. 

For the foreseeable future, things won’t move as fast as we would like them to do. Safety is key, and therefore social distancing measures are becoming the norm. Accommodating for social distancing in a security checkpoint will be challenging; security screening is a process that over the last decade has evolved into a highly optimised environment where passengers are stimulated to overtake each other with limited personal space. For efficient operations, passenger simultaneity is vital.

Together with our former colleagues at Point FWD we’ve come up with a technology driven solution that facilitates social distancing in the short term and enables significant future benefits.


Consider a security checkpoint a few months ago:

  • Passengers exiting the queue are directed to a security lane based on the available capacity at the first sub-process; divest
  • When directing a passenger to a security lane, capacity of successive sub-processes (e.g. reclaim, recheck) in the security lane is often unknown
  • Due to different capacities for successive sub-processes, passengers often are required to queue in the security lane – waiting at the passenger screening process, at reclaim and/or at recheck

Passengers are Pushed into the process


By deploying our IR-UWB radar technology to measure occupancy at every sub-step combined with live guides (BI dashboards, tablets, traffic lights, etc.) an alternative becomes possible; Pull.

  • Passengers exiting the queue will be directed to a security lane based on the capacity at the last sub-process; reclaim/recheck
  • Passengers hold in the checkpoint queue until a lane is available with sufficient capacity at all sub-processes
  • Queuing within the security process will be prevented; a passenger can proceed based on the capacity of succeeding sub-processes
  • Social distancing can be guaranteed by not exceeding the maximum capacity per sub-process

Passengers are Pulled into the process

While we are convinced that changing from a Push to a Pull process can yield great advantages for maintaining sufficient social distance, we’re also very aware this only is a piece of the puzzle and therefore we urge to:

Join forces

We firmly believe that there is no golden bullet solution for the re-opening of the aviation industry and cooperation between parties (airports, legislators and suppliers) is crucial.

Combinations of innovative solutions from curb to deck; self-service check-in, queue management, automatic allocation of passengers, smart security and immigration processes. While maintaining an equal load on these processes so queueing and build up of passengers is limited.

Therefore we want to end with a call to action; let’s connect and join forces so our industry can re-open soon and safe.