New site predicts pre-flight crowding at Ben Gurion airport

Passengers at Ben Gurion airport Credit: Michal Raz-Chaimovitz
Passengers at Ben Gurion airport Credit: Michal Raz-Chaimovitz

Tzahi Zilbershtein has built an algorithm that can help calculate how long before your flight you need to reach the airport.

With formidably long lines at Ben Gurion airport as 70,000-80,000 passengers pass through each day, many travelers are wondering just how long before a flight they should get to the airport. Tzahi Zilbershtein, 36, who works at Google as an engineering lead, may have the answer for you.

Zilbershtein, who travels abroad twice monthly because he manages dozens of employees around Europe, set up a site, which predicts how crowded the airport is likely to be so that he could save wasting time at Ben Gurion airport. He has now opened the site/app to the public.

The site, which is only in Hebrew, forecasts how busy the arrivals hall, check-in, and security checks in Terminal 1 and Terminal 3 are likely to be under five ratings: deserted, light, medium, heavy, and peak.

Zilbershtein says, "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." He adds that passengers can provide real-time reports on the site on whether the airport is more congested or less congested than predicted and thus influence the index presented and make the results of the algorithm more accurate.

The site/app provides forecasts for the next 72 hours. He says, "The data is based on information from the Israel Airports Authority." Zilbershtein says. 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 stresses that the site collects no data on users and even reports can be made anonymously.

The aim of the site/app is purely the benefit of the public rather than to make any money and Zilbershtein hopes that the crowding and under-staffing problems at the airport will soon be solved, thus making his app/site superfluous.

This is not Zilbershtein's first such endeavor on behalf of the public. One of the sites he previously set up allows the public to post death notices for free, after he discovered that the services to print them cost money.

Published by Globes, Israel business news - - on July 25 2022.

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd., 2022.

Passengers at Ben Gurion airport Credit: Michal Raz-Chaimovitz
Passengers at Ben Gurion airport Credit: Michal Raz-Chaimovitz
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