London Gatwick Airport Improves Customer Experience With SIMUL8


No two days are the same at an airport. Passenger numbers fluctuate, flights get delayed, there's seasonal variation and each airline has it's own schedules and policies. Simulation was the only tool that could give Gatwick the power to manage this complex system.

Using SIMUL8 Gatwick has improved the check-in process, queue times and airline efficiency without increased investment.



London Gatwick Airport

Key Facts

  • Improved the check-in process by reducing wait times



  • Reduced ripple effect of disruptions that could affect passengers

  • Assisted communication among staff by giving a visualization of processes


  • SIMUL8 changed their way of working by offering flexibility of testing ideas in a risk free environment

The Challenge


London Gatwick Airport is the biggest single runway airport in the world and one of the major airports serving the city of London in the UK. The six sigma team worked with SIMUL8 to improve the check in process in the airport’s South Terminal.



Constant Change

With the air travel industry being affected by factors like increased security measures and busier flight schedules, it is very difficult for airports to please everyone.

Connected Flows

Every part of the customer experience is connected. Making changes to security lanes could affect the amount of time passengers spend in the lounge. Therefore, each area has to be considered when trying to improve the passenger experience.

"Using simulation has reduced the ripple effect of disruptions that could possibly affect passengers in other areas of the airport. We understand that all areas of the airport connect, and it’s important to manage the flow of activities."

Mike Goacher, Gatwick Airport

The Result

Using SIMUL8 has changed how Gatwick work by offering an increased flexibility of testing scenarios within a safe environment before implementing changes in real life.



Better Results

By using SIMUL8, Gatwick gained significant and meaningful results with their simulations of the check-in process and lounge areas that included real flight schedules and airline information. The ease of use and accessibility of SIMUL8 ensured Gatwick utilized all capabilities, and helped minimize queue times while maximizing throughput – ensuring a successful customer experience.

Robust systems testing and avoidance of critical failures

Gatwick simulates layouts and passenger flows to prevent disruption to customer services. If passenger numbers increase, or if new timely security measures were introduced testing these types of scenarios and communicating solutions in a highly visual and interactive manner helps Gatwick avoid critical failures.

Advising Airline Partners

Using SIMUL8 allowed Gatwick to be able to advise airlines on how to make operations more efficient without increased investments.

For example, Gatwick’s redeveloped security area in the South Terminal has 19 lanes allowing passengers to be processed quickly by simply scanning their ticket. Using SIMUL8 along with new security technology has changed factors such as wait times and staff numbers, helping to determine how many staff members are needed at a given time, as well as reducing queue times bottlenecked areas was the most effective approach.



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