30+ years of experience in applying industry tried and tested methods, solving complex operational problems for our clients

Case Studies - Aviation

Major International Airport, UK

Operational Problem

Following a sudden change in airport security screening legislation, the passenger experience changed negatively over night and security queues quickly exceeded the capacity of the security concourse due to reduced passenger throughput at every security lane

This increased the potential to damage airport reputation, increased the risk of financial loss through fines and/or rebates and had the potential to adversely impact airline punctuality performance.


To identify the process pain points and implement solutions to mitigate the reduction in passenger flow.


A small cross-functional problem solving team was formed, armed with Lean manufacturing principles, to review the impact that the change in legislation had on the operation by compiling a Value Stream Map.

Historically, the operation had assumed that the walk through metal detectors and X ray machines were the process bottle necks. However, the value stream map quickly identified that the point passengers presented themselves to the x ray machine and passenger/item repatriation areas were the biggest constraints. Future state value stream mapping was used to model the impact of making changes – and this is where the concept of using extended roller beds was first introduced.

This allowed passengers to divest and organise their belongings earlier in the process, improving "right first time" presentation of passengers to the x ray machine. Whereas the increased repatriation area allowed more than one passenger at a time to be repatriated with their items.


Passenger flow increase by 60% .

Reduction in overall cycle time by 40%

Peak passenger queuing times reduced by 87%

Improved passenger experience

Protection of airport and airline's reputations

Solidification of regulator and airport/airline relationships

Reduced likelihood of paying regulatory fines


Today, regular flyers are very familiar with what an airport passenger security search lane looks like. These design concepts, along with a paradigm shift in how operational teams manage passenger flow,  all started from a single, Value Stream Map, developed by our team.