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CVG and UC put AI to work to help airport predict crowding and enhance the passenger experience

Cincinnati, Oh. (February 24, 2022) – The Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG) is teaming up with the University of Cincinnati (UC) to predict crowding and enhance the passenger experience throughout the airport.


CVG engaged UC College of Engineering and Applied Science aerospace engineering doctoral student Javier Viaña to utilize airport data to create a software program to help the airport predict when travelers arrive at the airport, broken down into 15-minute increments. By leveraging data collected by another program previously developed by CVG, Viaña has been able to specifically model queue lines at the security checkpoint.

Photo of person pointing out various monitors noting different data points

CVG data collection visualized through multiple dashboards.  

“The main objective of this work is to improve the passenger experience and inform operational decision-making at the airport,” said Candace McGraw, chief executive officer, CVG. “The modeling done by Javier provides the airport and our business partners reliable data to prepare our operations based on passenger arrival predictions, potentially reducing crowding and wait times along the travel journey from parking and check-in to security screening and concessions.”

“What makes this model unique is how UC is using artificial intelligence based on fuzzy logic, a type of computer decision making that allows us to provide a human-like explanation for its predictions,” said Javier Viaña. “We refer to this type of algorithms as explainable and transparent.”

Javier Viana, UC doctoral student working with CVG Innovation

Javiar Viaña, UC doctoral student

UC’s work is funded in part through a grant from the Airport Cooperative Research Program ACRP), an industry-driven network that develops near-term practical solutions to airport challenges. This program is supported by the Federal Aviation Administration, the Virginia Space Grant Consortium and The National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.


“Receiving an ACRP grant award is no easy feat, so it says something about the ever-growing importance of data modeling and the rising applications that utilize artificial intelligence and fuzzy logic over traditional programming methods,” Viaña said. “It’s an honor to have been selected to further this research along with UC and CVG.”


This collaboration is a direct result of a multi-year memorandum of understanding (MOU) between UC and CVG. The MOU provides the University’s research talent and emergent technologies a living-laboratory environment (the airport) that is a mutually beneficial relationship.



About CVG Airport:

CVG Airport has been serving passengers since 1947. The airport welcomed more than 9.1 million passengers in 2019, serving a record number of local passengers. As the airport recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic, it still offers the most nonstop destinations and the lowest average airfares in the region. CVG is diversified in both passenger and cargo operations with an annual economic impact of $6.8 billion. It is the 7th largest cargo airport in North America – home to Amazon Air’s primary U.S. Hub and DHL Express Global Superhub. Learn more at