AI Success Stories

CAD Logo CAD: Airport Check-in Counter / Desk Allocation

hk civil aviation department - check-in counter/desk allocation

Project Summary:

  • client: Hong Kong Civil Aviation Department
  • application:  airport check-in counter/desk allocation
  • AI technology:  search algorithms, constraint programming


Combining advanced computer simulation with resource allocation and scheduling, we were able to optimize resource utilization within the passenger terminal building at Kai Tak Airport. This was done without sacrificing any service commitments. Despite the complexity of the business rules and constraints involved in desk allocation, our system produced daily assignment plans within seconds.

Although Kai Tak Airport was already heavily congested in 1995, they were able to handle 9,000 more flights in 1996 and another 6,000 more in 1997 by using our software to optimize their passenger terminal check-in counter desk allocation

Our Client

The Hong Kong International Airport at Kai Tak was one of the busiest international airports in the world. In 1995, it serviced around 150,000 flights total and around 75,000 passengers daily. The airport was managed by the Civil Aviation Department (CAD) to provide high quality service to all passengers, airlines, and handling agents.

Business Needs

Although air traffic was on the increase, facilities in the passenger terminal building was fixed and limited. In order to service more flights and more passengers, resources such as check-in counters must be allocated very efficiently.

In 1994, CAD had to turn down thousands of flight requests per year due to limited airport resources. The aging airport had a small terminal building that was already over congested.

The daily assignments of check-in counters to airlines and handling agents were the responsibility of CAD. This assignment is based on the daily flight schedule, usage patterns and statistics, and a set of operational and business rules, constraints and parameters.

The problem complexity made it very difficult for a human to produce an optimal plan. Moreover, the manual process was too time-consuming to be effective. In order to cope with an increasing amount of passengers using the airport, CAD decided to implement an automated solution in late 1994.

AI Technology

The Computerized Check-in Counter Allocation System (CCCAS) maximizes the utilization of airport facilities by optimizing the location and number of check-in counters assigned to each flight. We uniquely combined computer simulation with advanced constraint-based optimization techniques, provided by our AI Scheduling Engine, to produce a highly efficient scheduling algorithm.

Business Benefits

As a result of using CCCAS, all passengers were served within committed service standards while meeting all airport operational constraints. Furthermore, with the assistance of CCCAS, Kai Tak Airport was able to handle an additional 9,000 flights in 1996 and over 6,000 more in 1997.

We installed CCCAS at the Hong Kong Kai Tak International Airport in 1996 and it has been used to support daily allocation till the very last day of Kai Tak operations in 1998.

More Info:

hk mtrc - possession/engineering works scheduling 2010

Possession/Engineering Work Scheduling

hk mtrc - possession/engineering works scheduling 2004

Possession/Engineering Work Scheduling (2004)

hk airport authority - airport bay/stand allocation
HK Airport Authority

Airport Bay/Stand Allocation

hactl - air cargo handling system
HK Air Cargo Terminals Ltd

Air Cargo Handling System

MTL - container terminal berth allocation
Modern Terminals Ltd

Container Terminal Berth Allocation