Intelligent video based solution at Budapest Airport (BUD)

Shortening Lines for Security Checks

Waiting times at airport security checkpoints are often unpredictable, making them a headache for travelers and Security Managers. The right technology can provide some help – such as an intelligent solution that keeps lines from getting too long at Budapest Airport.

It’s generally easy for travelers to plan out their route from their home to their gate at the airport. They know how long it will take them to get to the airport by car or by public transport, and they might factor in some extra time for checking their luggage. One leg of this pre-flight trip is unpredictable, though: the wait before passing through the security checkpoint. Long lines tend to form here, which can often lead to unpleasant surprises. For many travelers, the first thought that comes into their mind when they see a long line is: ‘Will I still make my flight?’

As lines grow in front of security checks, travelers get more and more annoyed. This also heightens the security risk, since the area in front of the checkpoints is easier for potential attackers to reach than the area behind them is. For travelers at Budapest Ferenc Liszt International Airport the situation might change in the future. As part of a pilot the estimated waiting time is displayed on a screen at Terminal 2a. There are two checkpoints, one for each terminal, and travelers can choose where to get in line based on the current waiting time for each. For instance, if one of the checkpoints is very crowded, but there is hardly anyone at the other one, travelers can go to the latter to save time.

Budapest Airport’s Security Director, Istvan Szabo, wanted waiting times to be displayed at the checkpoints. He says, “The challenge lay in distributing travelers evenly between the two checkpoints for the respective terminals.” Szabo didn’t have to invest in a wholly new camera infrastructure to make this possible – it sufficed to integrate five new Bosch cameras into the existing network.

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