Israel: Phone app estimates waiting time at Ben Gurion Airport

Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90Travelers in line at the Ben Gurion International Airport, Israel, on July 7, 2022.

The app creates 72-hour forecasts to estimate the ‘congestion-level of takeoffs’

With complaints rising over long lines at Israel’s Ben Gurion Airport, which welcomes 70,000-80,000 passengers per day, a new phone app was created to estimate the “traffic” inside the airport.

The application, developed by Tzahi Zilbershtein, who works at Google as an engineering lead, is currently available in Hebrew in both mobile and web versions, Globes reported. 

Zilbershtein came up with the idea as he travels abroad twice a month to manage employees around Europe, therefore spending a lot of time in Ben Gurion

His invention allows travelers to predict in real-time the amount of time they will spend checking in their bags and passing the security checks. 

“The algorithm examines the congestion-level of takeoffs according to a mathematical model that I have built and tells you about the degree of crowding at any given time in the check-in and security halls,” Zilbershtein was quoted as saying.

“The data is based on information from the Israel Airports Authority. The information on flights is available to the public and there is a government application programming interface that relates to the next 72 hours. The congestion in takeoffs is an important statistic and it’s possible to learn a lot about the congestion at the airport,” Zilbershtein said, noting that the app collects no data on users and reports can be made anonymously. 

At the height of the summer season, about 1,400 employees were lacking in Ben Gurion, causing delays, canceled flights, long queues, and lost luggage.

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