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Heathrow Airport, London

How can one of the world's busiest airports make better decisions for its 72 million passengers?

Heathrow Airport is able to better manage its baggage handling because of an Arup project that combined digital expertise with our deep knowledge of the aviation industry.

A new era of baggage handling

Each year, over 80 airlines fly from Heathrow to over 180 locations worldwide, carrying over 72 million passengers and 1.4 million tonnes of cargo. One of Heathrow’s key priorities from 2014 to 2018 is improving operational performance and asset replacement, including how they manage baggage handling for these millions of passengers.

Capturing the whole picture

The first phase of the project focused on creating a blueprint that defined Heathrow’s existing structure and operation. We looked at the whole operation from end to end, mapped out every stage and captured that in a single model. This meant everyone involved was able to make better decisions at every stage because of the new level of information available to them.

Heathrow baggage handling Heathrow baggage handling

We were able to combine the operational model with new information architecture to enable better strategic decision making, with a connected view of the people, the processes and the technology.

Seamless from start to finish

In the second phase of the project, we worked with Heathrow to analyse what was needed for seamless baggage operation. Together we were able to propose real process improvements that will streamline the operation.


I was really pleased with the approach you took, particularly around linking the recommendations to some of the outcomes of the Resilience report. […] I was really impressed with the quality of thinking and the way you presented it. ” Sally Jenner Business Changer Leader, Heathrow Baggage

A long-term vision for better decisions

The first phase of the project was based on an ‘As-Is’ model. Now, Arup is working with Heathrow on a ‘To-Be’ programme, which will be aimed at increasing efficiency and having a positive impact on the passenger experience.