Vancouver International Airport creates "digital twin" of itself with video game platform

Mar 29 2022, 10:05 pm

During the peak of the pandemic slowdown, tech staff at Vancouver International Airport (YVR) began a project of creating a virtual digital twin of their facilities on Sea Island.

That project from YVR’s new Innovation Hub division has now reached completion, allowing airport officials to better visualize improvements to the passenger experience and logistics.

This virtual, real-time representation of the airport’s terminal building and airfield offers training, optimization, future planning, simulation, testing, and more. It integrates historical and real-time data into the platform and can be presented through 2D or 3D visualization for data-driven decision making and collaboration.

The digital twin could even potentially be used to model aircraft movements and activity on the airfield to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

vancouver international airport yvr digital twin geo simcities

Interface of the Digital Twin of Vancouver International Airport. (Vancouver Airport Authority/GeoSim Cities)

vancouver international airport yvr digital twin geo simcities

Interface of the Digital Twin of Vancouver International Airport. (Vancouver Airport Authority/GeoSim Cities)

vancouver international airport yvr digital twin geo simcities

Interface of the Digital Twin of Vancouver International Airport. (Vancouver Airport Authority/GeoSim Cities)

“At YVR, we want our people to have the tools they need to succeed in a dynamic environment and the digital twin technology solves many airport-related challenges,” said Lynette DuJohn, vice president of Innovation and Chief Information Officer of YVR.

“For example, if there’s congestion at any check-in point, an alert is generated which we can click into to see a live information about what is going on. This allows our operations and security team to address potential issues with corrective action, allowing our employees to find efficiencies through technology, creating a better experience for travellers.”

The digital twin was created in part with video game engine Unity, Vancouver-based 3D modelling firm GeoSim Cities, and Vancouver-based digital business transformation company Thynkli.

vancouver international airport yvr digital twin geo simcities

Digital Twin of Vancouver International Airport. (Vancouver Airport Authority/GeoSim Cities)

vancouver international airport yvr digital twin geo simcities

Digital Twin of Vancouver International Airport. (Vancouver Airport Authority/GeoSim Cities)

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