June 25, 2024

SWISS trials AI technology to improve passenger counting accuracy

SWISS has launched a three-month of artificial intelligence technology to conduct its passenger counts aboard selected flights.

The airline is working with an unnamed third-party supplier to install digitalised camera equipment on certain aircraft that will record passengers as they enter and determine the total number embarked. It says the high-tech approach is ultimately intended to ‘enhance security’, while it could eventually also ease the workload of cabin personnel.

During the trial, the recordings will be used to ‘train’ the AI system into understanding what a typical passenger shape might look like to increase its accuracy. The airline says challenges could come in a variety of forms, for example, a passenger carrying a child or establishing a correct count in different lighting conditions. Results will be double-checked against a traditional manual count during the testing period.

Because the trial will take part on flights departing from Zurich, SWISS has to adhere to strict data security and privacy regulations, with all the recordings made processed in compliance with the European (GDPR) and Swiss (FADP) laws. No individuals will be identified and all records will be deleted once used. In addition, the carrier has reassured passengers that only the door area of aircraft will be recorded and that no audio files will be made.

Once the trial finishes in June, SWISS will decide whether the technology is useful and can be rolled out or requires further testing.