Operations support and expertise for 2004 Olympic Games

The challenge

Large cultural and sporting events pose a major logistics, security and infrastructural challenge for the host nation, host city and organisations responsible for and contributing to the delivery of infrastructure and services. Athens International Airport expected a steep rise in passenger and baggage demand in August 2004, culminating in a record peak departure period at the end of the Games.

The role of o&i’s team members was to assist the airport company in assessing and preparing its operations for the forecast demand. The scope of their work extended beyond the airport facility to departures logistics for the Olympic Family from the Olympic Village.


Our role

In order to prepare the airport operations for the event, o&i consulting developed an understanding of expected workload and existing processing performance at Athens Airport. With this detail, our consultants modelled the individual processing points within the airport and off-airport operations to establish their ability to handle demand, particularly on peak days. Where potential constraints were identified, they introduced demand-driven planning and process re-engineering disciplines to increase throughput, and queue design and management techniques to reduce congestion.

The greatest operational challenge for the airport was on the peak day after the closing ceremony, when over 43,000 passengers and more than 60,000 pieces of luggage departed the airport.

The collection of 15,000 items of luggage on the day prior to travel and the departure of almost 10,000 athletes and their entourage from the Olympic Village on the busiest day were key logistics requirements. A dedicated processing strategy was necessary to facilitate the efficient movement of large teams and their baggage through the airport and therefore minimise the effect on airport facilities.

A member of our team championed the off-airport processing concept in Athens. Successful delivery of the concept involved working with the village management team, ATHOC logistics, Greek Police and security services and NOCs (National Olympic Committees) and their supporting logistics and security teams.

The operation included the design and set up of off-airport check-in the day before departure, management of the off-airport baggage collection, transportation and full security screening operation at the airport on peak days, and scheduling of transportation of the Olympic Family from the Village to the airport on a Just-In-Time basis.

The airport received international recognition for its smooth operations, efficient handling and impressive service during the peak departure days.

o&i expertise on this project

  • Operations planning
  • Forecasting
  • Capacity analysis
  • Capacity planning
  • Demand modelling
  • Process design and improvement
  • Queue design and management
  • Resource scheduling
  • Contingency planning and testing
  • Operations management
  • Stakeholder engagement


Project Key Facts

Title: Operations support and expertise for 2004 Olympic Games

Client: Athens International Airport

Theme: Olympics