Airport Operators

Reducing Airport Passenger Queue Times With Lean Techniques

Airport Operators

Reducing Airport Passenger Queue Times With Lean Techniques

This case study revolves around enhancing airport security efficiency and the passenger‘s experience by implementing lean techniques.

The focus was on improving throughput, minimising queue times, and optimising resource allocation within the central search area. Develop Consulting collaborated with the airport and their security partner to address challenges stemming from COVID-related impacts, unpredictable lane throughput, and unstructured training, meaning queues were often longer than acceptable.


  • Increased tray throughput by 20% during morning peak times and 15% across the day.
  • Reduced dwell time for passengers by approximately 15 minutes during peak times.
  • Achieved a reduction in headcount costs.
  • Provided up to three months’ visibility of resource capacity.
  • Implemented robust and visible performance measures showcasing improvements.
  • Enhanced grip and control on day-to-day and week-to-week performance.
  • Enabled team and personal development through coaching and skill application.
  • Achieved a Return on Investment (ROI) of 18:1, with predicted combined revenue creation and security annualised savings exceeding £1 million.


By implementing lean techniques and comprehensive planning, Develop Consulting successfully transformed the security operations of the central search area. The improvements led to significant enhancements in passenger throughput, decreased queue times, optimized resource allocation, and improved overall security efficiency.

This case study showcases how Develop Consulting’s expertise in lean techniques and resource planning transformed the central search area’s security operations, leading to significant improvements in passenger throughput, queue times, and overall efficiency. By working collaboratively with the airport and security teams, implementing strategic processes, and addressing software and hardware issues, Develop Consulting achieved remarkable results, highlighting the benefits of continuous improvement methodologies in enhancing operational effectiveness.


The primary objectives were to increase lane throughput during peak times, introduce robust planning for resource allocation, and enhance the overall passenger security experience.


  • Collaborated with airport and security teams to develop strategies for improving throughput.
  • Introduced daily cross-functional stakeholder meetings to review and plan performance.
  • Implemented an advanced resource planning process, extending the outlook to over two months.
  • Enhanced training material, methods, and queueing methodology for efficiency.
  • Optimised lane allocation and resource management to improve performance impact.
  • Resolved software and hardware issues to increase machine throughput.
  • Established detailed roles and responsibilities for ownership of performance.
  • Created day-by-day and long-term training schedules.


Throughout our recent project, Develop Consulting delivered a unique style to consultancy support, tailoring result driven attitudes to all levels of the organisation, from Senior Executive to the Operational Teams. Employing a direct approach, they were able to engage with the team, become involved with each process to fully understand associated challenges and constraints, creating a level of trust, and understanding with Operational Teams, enabling a full and independent root and branch analysis.

Their team remained focused on measurable results delivering on process changes that enhance output, with tangible change on performance. Providing added value through influencing and supporting operational change, moving away from the traditional consulting methodology of ‘Review and Report’. A full suite of sustainable tools has been delivered through this project, alongside guidance that empowers all level of the organisation to support effective working practices, encouraging highly motivated and experienced teams to perform at their best each day. Founded on a core principle of accountability, gained through data review, coaching and mentoring, together with embracing proactive leadership.

Dan Evans, Security Contracts Manager, Bristol Airport

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