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Global Operations Management at the Airport

1. At the Airport

Metro Airport is required to randomly screen checked luggage for some of its passengers. The current method of screening checked luggage is for a single screener to search each piece by hand. It takes an average of 4 minutes per piece of luggage, and the hand search time is exponentially distributed. The airport is considering leasing an automatic luggage-screening machine to replace hand screening. The new luggage-screening machine will only take an average of 3 minutes per piece of luggage, with a standard deviation of 2 minutes.

The airport has an average of 30 flights per day, with an average of 125 passengers per flight, and each passenger has an average of 1 piece of checked luggage. The airport is required to screen 5% of all passengers. Passenger arrivals are Poisson, and the average rate of arrivals is constant throughout a 15-hour day of flights.

a) At what rate do pieces of luggage requiring screening arrive (in pieces of luggage per hour)?

Arrival rate ______________ pieces of luggage needing screened per hour

b) What are the utilizations for the current system and the automatic system?

Current system utilization _____________

Automatic system utilization _____________

c) What is the amount of time an average passenger spends waiting & being screened (combined) under the current system and under the automatic system (in minutes)?

Current system _____________ minutes

Automatic system _____________ minutes

d) If the airport is willing to spend up to $4000 more per month (30 days) for the new system (vs. what the old system costs, including labor), what value are they implicitly placing on a minute of passenger time spent with screening (waiting plus screening time)?

Value of one minute of passenger time ___________

e) If the airport goes with the automatic system, what is the average number of passengers that will be waiting in the line?