Why Predictability at airports stands for increased Profitability

If there is one thing we have learned from the recent lobal energy crisis than it’s that airports that are well organized and have made the early conversion to energy efficient solutions stand to be the ones that withstand best the global crisis. In some cases airports have seen their energy bills go up by 4 to 5x of what they paid in 2021 so action on all levels is needed.

Airports that previously made the move to more efficient operations have not been faced with such steep increases and have been able in a lot of cases to keep their energy costs under control especially by constantly reviewing their mode of operations and cutting out inefficiencies.

What a lot of airports don’t realize is that there is one thing that can radically improve airport efficiency as it does in multiple industries: Predictability.

Predictability is the best asset for any airport, in most cases AI helps to increase predictability based on simulations of past and future trends like it does for understanding the passenger capacity needs at check in and security. Predictability can be used in anything, from predicting passenger numbers to predicting the maintenance needs of assets and much more.

That same level of predictability can be used throughout the airport for all operational matters, from check in to passenger flow throughout the airport to the apron.

The apron is as we know the location where most time gets lost especially the turn-around process is often cumbersome and everyone that has ever been a passenger has witnessed it many times before especially when a plane arrives before schedule, it can often be interpreted as if everyone wakes up when they suddenly find the plane parked at the gate.

But also there predictability can easily be created if all stakeholders from ATC to Airport Operations and Ground Handling work closely together.

It’s not much work to inform the ground handlers at Gate 10 that Plane Y has landed so all ground troops can be sure to arrive on time at the gate and start handling the plane. The addition of IoT in vehicles can even be used to understand where the fueling truck is when it needs to be at Gate 10 and prevent even longer delays. Normally all the ground troops should have the latest flight information in real time on their devices so they have enough time to prepare and be at the gate in time, not too early, not too late. Predictability is all about making sure that stakeholders streamline operations so that passengers can leave the plane when they are supposed to and collect their luggage within the agreed timing.

So what does predictability have to do with energy efficiency and profitability?

A lot, sometimes airports are awash with uncoordinated movements, cars, vans and busses driving around, not because they have to but because of the fact that they often miss the latest basic information to be at the right gate at the right time which leads to a lot of unnecessary movements. But also a lot of unnecessary emissions and/or waste of energy because of cars and busses waiting for passengers or goods in vain. In a time where sustainability and energy savings matter and good employees are hard to find, any (wasted) minute counts and unnecessary movements are a source of huge C02 emissions not to forget air and noise pollution.

IATA indicated some time ago that airports need to move to Airport Collaborative Decision Making as one of the key elements to drive sustainability and that is not based on any marketing pitch. We still see many uncoordinated efforts because of competition issues, lack of information, insufficient communication,… all leading to a substantial loss of time and energy. An airport should be like a ballet ensemble, if all players work together seamlessly - based on the latest information- , operations run smoothly, people are motivated, little time is lost and passengers are happy. In short: predictability.

By revisiting the airport set up, electrifying what can be electrified but especially coordinating efforts between the teams that need to manage the turn-around, a lot of dissatisfaction can be avoided and waste of energy on all levels can be substantially cut. The CO2 savings – often running in the tons of CO2 emission cuts– the unnecessary movements and time lost can be reduced to x minutes by flight, counting the tens of thousands or airplane movements per airport, that makes up for a lot of time won, a lot of C02 reduced and overall energy bills substantially cut for all players involved.

Want to understand what EMMA Systems A-CDM approach can save your airport? Ask for our free of charge 5 minute simulation and let’s talk. marketing@emma.aero. or www.emma.aero