b'INFO TECHNOLOGYMCO | SEA 63created a working group on that very topic. While participating in the group, Wilson and his team discovered many systems for restaurants and shopping malls, but none designed for airports. The vendors said, Oh, you can just hit the next button to advance the next person in line, recalls Wilson. Well, if you process 50,000 people per day, thats carpal tunnel for a bunch of staff. There really wasnt anything readily available for us.What SEA learned from the ACI-NA working group, however, helped inform the airports subsequent Request for Information to the industry. The procurement office at SEA also took a page from a pilot program at Boston Logan International Airport (BOS), which sought pilot project proposals from several different providers. But while BOS was tapping technology startups for a solution, SEA oriented its search toward more established companies. Two vendors that answered SEAs call, Pangiam and Virtual Hold Technology Solutions, were chosen to participate in a head-to-head pilot program at SEAa bake-off for technology providers. Its common for the Port of Seattle to collaborate with airlines for test programs, and SEA Airport Operations Director Laurel Dunphy brought in two for theLAUREL DUNPHYvirtual queuing program. Pangiam was paired with Alaska Airlines, which currently accounts for about half of SEAs As the pandemic raged on, SEA pushed to come up with another solution. During a virtual travel conference that included hotels, airlines and airports, Lyttle was inspired by the way Disney uses times queues and implements technology to keep customers flowing smoothly through its theme parks. Millions of guests wait in lines at Disney properties every year. Could similar queuing methods work for airports, too? The team at SEA thought so. Lance had been thinking about ways to help expedite security checkpoint lines for a long time, says Dave Wilson, director of Airport Innovations at SEA. Once the pandemic hit, we learned about Disneys efforts to address the same problem we had: physical distancing. At peak times, trying to keep people 6 feet apart could create a really long line. DAVE WILSONLyttle compares the challenge to building a church that can handle a large influx of parishioners on Easter Sunday but still operate efficiently for far fewer people the rest of the year. The problem weve had is that people are coming all at the same time, as when a cruise ship is leaving the port, he explains. We dont need as much physical space if were spreading out the passenger arrival times. Now we can get the same number of people across time, which will go a long way in terms of utilizing space effectively.SEA decided to look for a virtual queuing system in May 2020just as Airports Council International-North American (ACI-NA) AirportImprovement.comJanuary | February 2022'