Airport Business

AUG-SEP 2018

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44 airportbusiness August/September 2018 AIRFIELD OPERATIONS By Altay Fellah Stuttgart Airport Tackles Operations Efficiency by Upgrading Its IT System Stuttgart shows an investment in IT technology can go a long way to improve airfield operations. For Stuttgart Airport (STR), the opening of its Terminal 3 set in motion the need for new Information Technology (IT) systems that could better manage the airport with the terminal facilities. Its existing Flight Information Display Software (FIDS) was not up to the task. STR knew it needed a fully-integrated IT system with a central Airport Operational Database (AODB). In August 2002, the airport sought out a strategic IT partner to develop the right solution and determined that Inform GmbH was the partner it needed. According to Michael Gassner, director of consulting aviation for Stuttgart Airport, STR deployed a new AODB, along with various Inform modules to optimize its entire airport operations and process chain, from flight planning, rostering and dispatching to invoicing. Ramp Operations and Airport Infrastructure One area in particular targeted for improvement was ramp operations. Specifically, Stuttgart Airport had three chief goals: • To improve overall efficiency of ramp operations as ground handling was a major loss maker at that time • To keep track of staff and ground support equipment in order to achieve better transparency of the ramp operation by collecting task information and time stamps (e.g., which employee is serving on which flight, status of each task, etc.) • To improve its staff’s situational awareness by sharing information (e.g., dangerous goods in the hold) Prior to the initiative, STR’s dispatch process was based on a manual, pen and paper process using magnetic boards. Communication between dispatchers and employees occurred via radio or task sheets. There were many sub-systems to this process; some manually created Flughafen Stuttgart GmbH

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