Operations Management

Operations Management of an airport

Outgoing/Departing Passenger Process

Distance Time Chart Symbols Process Description
2 min ¡ ð o D  Ñ Passenger Terminal Security Check
4 min ¡ ð o D  Ñ Luggage Security Inspection X-ray Machine
5 min ¡ ð o D  Ñ Luggage Canine and Actual Inspection
2 min   ð o D  Ñ Passenger Check-In – Ticket Verification
2 min ¡ ð o D  Ñ Passenger Check-In – Identity Confirmation
2 min ¡ ð o D  Ñ Passenger Check-In – Visa Verification
2 min   ð o D  Ñ Passenger Check-In –Seat Assignment
3 min   ð o D  Ñ Passenger Check-In Boarding Pass printing and issuance
2 min   ð o D  Ñ Luggage Check-In
2 min   ð o D  Ñ Luggage Weight Confirmation
5 min   ð o D  Ñ Luggage Payment of excess weight
2 min   ð o D  Ñ Luggage Tagging and issuance of luggage tags
20 meters 15 min ¡   o D  Ñ Luggage Transfer to pre-flight preparation
20 min   ð o D  Ñ Luggage segregation per flight
30 min ¡ ð o D  Ñ Luggage Security Inspection (Canine inspection for drugs and explosives
30 min   ð o D  Ñ Luggage pallet harnessing and packing
5 min   ð o D  Ñ Luggage Total weight verification per flight
250 meters 30 min ¡   o D  Ñ Luggage Transfer from Terminal to Plane
20 min ¡ ð o D Efficiently Stack Luggage in Plane
2 min   ð o D  Ñ Passenger Terminal Fee and Travel Tax Payment
1 min   ð o D  Ñ Passenger Passport stamping
10 min   ð o D  Ñ Passenger Pre-boarding Security Check
25 min   ð o D  Ñ Boarding and Seat Assignment
5 min ¡ ð o D  Ñ Final Check
2 km 10 min ¡   o D  Ñ Taxi of Plane from terminal berth to launch position

¡ = Operation; ð = Transport; o = Inspect; D = Delay; Ñ = Storage

Passenger Terminal Security Check

After the nine eleven attack, security has been stringent and has become strict in most airports to prevent the same things from happening again. The second of a series of security check points with the first security check conducted at the perimeter gate of the airport on incoming vehicles in the airport terminal. This security check would prevent non-passenger civilian from entering the terminal, thus the ticket will be inspected if it’s current or not. Non-passenger without proper identification will be refused entry.

Luggage Security Inspection X-Ray Machine

The first security inspection on the luggage of passengers will be conducted here to determine if there are items that need to be declared or left at the luggage cabin of the plane. This is to prevent passengers from bringing with them in the cabin in their carryon bags items that may cause harm or injury to his fellow passengers. Items such as guns, lighters, pocket knives, compressed air and other similar items are confiscated and returned to the passenger when they reach their destination (Direct Gov, 2011).

Luggage Canine and Actual Inspection

What will be inspected here are the hand carried bags that passengers will be bringing with them in the cabin. This will prevent passengers from smuggling in explosives or even drugs in their hand carried bags in the cabin. Other illegal items such as knives or anything that can be used to coerce and subdue fellow passengers or even the flight crew will be removed and confiscated. This is to prevent high-jacking of planes (Air Safe, 2011).

Passenger Check-in Ticket Verification

Ticket verification will ensure that the ticket has been paid for and is actually booked for the flight. This verification process will catch double booking or over booking and even fraudulent or fake tickets. This is actually conducted by the airline’s personnel.

Passenger Check-in Identity Confirmation

This is to confirm the identity of the booked passenger to prevent identity fraud. This will also assure that the booked passenger is actually the same person who is listed in the manifest. These verification processes have prevented fugitives from the law from leaving the country (Transportation Security Administration, 2011).

Passenger Check-in Visa Verification

There are destinations that require visas of various kinds to allow passengers to enter. This verification has interdicted human trafficking violators that would include human smuggling and even illegal entry into destination that is the most popular destinations.

Passenger Check-in Seat Assignment

This process will assign specific seats to passengers aboard the plane this will allow the airline to accept chance passengers to maximize the capacity of the plane. Assigning the seats would show the actual capacity of the plane vis-à-vis the actual booked and checking-in passengers. This will enable the airline to process chance passengers or those passengers that do not have any booking.

Passenger Check-in Boarding pass printing and issuance

This will enable the passenger to confirm his assigned seats and in return the airline will be able to determine the actual number of passengers that the plane can carry including that of its luggage or cargo.

Luggage Check-In

There are hand-carried bags, and there are checked in luggage that are stored in the cargo bay of the airplane. All luggage that will be checked-in by the passengers will be handled by this process. Each passenger is allowed only to carry a finite number of luggage, the dimension and weight of the luggage are monitored.

Luggage Weight Confirmation

Luggage weight confirmation is given to both the passenger for him to pay for the excess weight his luggage has incurred. Each passenger for international flight are given thirty to forty kilos any excess will have to be charged to the passenger.

Luggage Payment of excess weight

Is a financial transaction between the passenger and the airline, the information gathered here particularly the weight will be used later by the cockpit crew to compute the amount of fuel needed to reach the plane’s destination.

Luggage Tagging and issuance of luggage tags

In order for the passenger to track his luggage, he is issued a tag that would contain the luggage number for reference purposes. The Tag will define the flight number, the destination and the time and date of the flight including the passenger’s boarding ticket number.

Luggage Transfer to pre-flight

From the terminal’s check-in counters the luggage will be transferred to the luggage handling area for further processing. Since the check-in area process passengers from different flights it is prudent for each bags to be tagged to determine their flight number and the passenger to whom the luggage belongs to.

Luggage Segregation per flight

At the luggage handling area each luggage will be segregated and grouped per flight. This is to ensure that no luggage will be lost and each luggage is assigned to their respective flights.

Luggage Security Inspection (Canine inspection for drugs and explosives)

At the luggage handling area of the airport, a search and inspection is conducted on the luggage that will be stored in the luggage cabin of the airplane. This process will prevent smuggling of illegal items including transit of illegal items from the airport. This additional check will actually protect flights with explosives stored in the cabin hold of the plane.

Luggage Pallet harnessing and packing

This is an important aspect of luggage handling since this will ensure efficient fuel consumption if luggage are efficiently balanced. An improperly disarranged luggage pallet might lead to accidents due to tilting (Pilot Friend, 2011).

Luggage Total Weight Verification per flight

The total luggage weight collected is then given to the cockpit crew for them to make the necessary fuel computation needed to reach plane’s destination. The same data is given to the check-in counter cashier to verify the amount collected for the flight (Pilot Friend, 2011).

Luggage Transfer from terminal to plane

After efficiently packing the luggage in pallets, the luggage will be arranged based on the shape of the pallet and the fuselage of the plane. The loading of the pallets into the plane require precision and process. Each pallet conforms with the shape of the plane’s fuselage.

Passenger Terminal Fee and travel tax Payment

After dealing with the airlines, the passenger will now satisfy the statutory regulations mandated by the government. The terminal fees are legislated fees required by the government to ensure that the terminal remains operational and its ground well maintained (International Air Transport Associations, 2009).

Passenger Passport Stamping

This would include the verification of the passenger’s identity as compared to his passport. This process will interdict potential illegal entrants to the destination of the plane.

Passenger Pre-boarding Security Check

This is another innovation that was strictly enforced after the nine eleven tragedy. Passengers are now subjected to actual personal inspection before boarding the plane. This will complete the exposure in possible entry and transport of illegal items. The first are the hand carried luggage, the checked-in luggage and now the actual inspection of the passenger (Travelsense, 2011).

Boarding and seat assignment

The boarding process would normally follow these priority; VIP customers first, then the elderly passengers, then Passengers with children, then the ambulant passenger with medical condition (in wheel chair). Last to board will be the regular passengers.

Final Check

This process will verify and accurately amend if not confirm the passenger manifest or the list passengers aboard. The final check should also yield passengers that is not supposed to be in the flight.

Taxi of plane from Terminal Berth to launch position

As soon as the plane is given clearance by the tower to taxi and proceed towards the runway where it will take off. The plane will detach itself from the passenger tube.

Departure of Plane

Potential Improvements

  1. Potential improvements to the airport process flow are the installations of camera in areas where the luggage are being inspected. This will ensure that the airport authorities have followed the proper protocol in collecting evidence. Not only will security be increased with the apprehension of smugglers and other miscreants. The installation of camera will act as a deterrent to crimes that could be committed by airport personnel themselves.
  2. Extensive luggage inspection should be done in-front of the owner of the bags. It would be prudent if the luggage inspection can be done at the onset, before the luggage are actually checked-in. To ensure that proper handling of evidence and proper identification of the perpetrators or owner of the luggage are identified. The extensive inspection would include drugs and explosive detection and other illegal items.
  3. The weight of the luggage and its distribution in the plane’s luggage compartment impacts the general safety and welfare of the passengers. There should not be any manual intervention that may cause erroneous entries. As soon as the luggage are checked-in the total weight should be computed and automatically transmitted to the cockpit crew.


Air Safe. (2011, April 11). Baggage Basics for Checked and Carry-on Items. Retrieved December 1, 2011, from Air Safe.com: http://www.airsafe.com/issues/baggage.htm

Direct Gov. (2011). Dangerous and Restricted items: What you cannot take on board a flight. Retrieved December 1, 2011, from Direct Gov: http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/TravelAndTransport/Foreigntravel/AirTravel/DG_176922

International Air Transport Associations. (2009). Philippine Customs, Currency & Airport Tax Regulations details. Retrieved December 1, 2011, from International Air Transport Associations: http://www.iatatravelcentre.com/PH-Philippines-customs-currency-airport-tax-regulations-details.htm

Pilot Friend. (2011). Weight Balance. Retrieved December 1, 2011, from Pilot Friend: http://www.pilotfriend.com/training/flight_training/wt_bal.htm

Transportation Security Administration. (2011). ID Requirements for Airport Checkpoints. Retrieved December 1, 2011, from Transport Security Administration: http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/airtravel/acceptable_documents.shtm

Travelsense. (2011). Airport Security Regulations. Retrieved December 1, 2011, from Travel Sense: http://www.travelsense.org/tips/airportsecurity.cfm

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