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Adaptive Case Management Awards-
Finalists Showcase: Pegasystems

This article appears in the issue July/August 2011, [Vol 20, Issue 7]

At London's Heathrow airport, when an incoming plane is registered by air-traffic control, a new case is created and doesn't close until the plane is en route to its next destination. This case management approach to aircraft turnaround dramatically improved the overall efficiency of operations at Heathrow, with the airport now running at 98% capacity. On-time departures are up to 83% from around 60%, accompanied by a positive environmental impact due to a reduction in time spent on the tarmac. These efficiencies also yield improved customer experiences for the British Airport Authority's (BAA's) two key constituencies, the passengers and the airlines, both benefiting from the increase in on-time departures.

Prior to this program, the resources employed to turn around a flight, including the stands, gates, check-in counters, refueling crews, cleaning crews, flight crew managers, and information from the systems-for example the air traffic control system-were managed by separate teams. Each of these teams was part of a separate line of business-or even part of a separate company. This organizational architecture yielded "optimization" at the department level, not at the airport level.

The goal of the new program is to turn around each aircraft-each case-as efficiently as possible, given the prevailing context of the overall airport. This means marshalling the resources appropriate to each aircraft, and optimizing the utilization of those resources across the hundreds of aircraft turnarounds being performed at any given moment.

Now, when a flight bound for Heathrow enters British airspace, a system feed from air traffic control automatically creates the case. A template for how to handle it with all of the activities and processes is applied. The template used is based on a variety of criteria, including where the plane is coming from and going to, the size of the aircraft, the current stress level of the airport, etc. The system then monitors the real-time aggregated volume of traffic in the airport and manages it based on pre-defined stress levels. These levels correspond to the amount of stress on airport resources and are constantly monitored to ensure that the current level reflects reality. There are many inputs used to calculate the level, but some are: weather, security status, daily and/or seasonal passenger volume. Each level has its own set of templates and policies that are applied for resource allocation, in order to ensure the optimal allocation given that particular stress level.

The system that BAA selected to manage these turnarounds is based on Pegasystems. This decision stemmed from BAA's understanding of the problem as a "case". This broadened the scope of their search for a solution, as the problem was no longer specific to an airport, but rather, similar to challenges faced by organizations across the globe trying to effectively manage customer service requests. With this case-based approach, BAA is able to marshal and coordinate all of the resources necessary to facilitate the successful resolution of the case-the aircraft's departure-with the attendant benefits of improved operational efficiency and service.


Pegasystems Inc.
101 Main Street
Cambridge, MA 02142-1590

Phone: 617-374-9600
Fax: 617-374-9620
Web: www.pega.com
Email: community@pega.com

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