The quest to solve your airport’s biggest challenge

“Tower, this is Airport Foxtrot 5-5. Please step the runway lights to step five.”

In a flash, the runway lights up like a Christmas tree. It’s slightly after 3 a.m. The day has barely started, but the airport is in full swing for the day’s flights, runway inspection and overnight package sorting. Impeccable planning is key to getting everything done on time. But even the best of plans are no match for the day’s events.

Solving your airport ground handling challenges

The beginning of a journey

As you walk through the departure terminal, you see the anticipation on passengers’ faces as they look forward to seeing loved ones, exploring a new city or closing a deal on the other side of the world. Out on the runways, the Foreign Object Debris (FOD) walk is about to start and you’re feeling like your airport’s a well-oiled machine.

But you and I know that running an airport is no walk in the park. Your stakeholders demand lower operational costs and passengers request faster services. It’s an enormous goal but one you strive to achieve every day with your team of planners. Until things got too complex for you and your team to handle.

The big airport chaos

There’s never a dull moment at an airport and most times, not for the better.

Take Sunnyville Airport, from the airport resource management game, Airport Blitz. To win, you need to plan Sunnyville staff effectively or risk losing the game. The catch? Passenger volume increases with each second so you need to be quick and smart when planning Sunnyville staff. Here’s a glimpse of Sunnyville Airport at peak hours.

The big airport chaos

In real life, however, airport resource management is far from comical. Last month, your airport came to a standstill because snow plow operators were on a mandated coffee break when the runways needed to be plowed. As a result, the plows ended up on the runways during the heaviest hours instead of during traffic lows.

And 4 days ago, passengers were not able to disembark the plane because there were no staff available to operate the bridge. This caused a 30-minute delay that rippled across the rest of the day. That’s not all. Just the other day, there was a hold-up on the baggage carousel because too many handlers were still on their scheduled lunch break.

How on earth do the world’s leading airports plan their resources effectively?

You’ve reached a breaking point. If you want to accomplish your goal, you need to solve your airport’s biggest challenge: planning against daily disruptions. But how? Start by learning from the best.

The Copenhagen experience

Copenhagen Airport is the Nordic region’s busiest hub. Over a four-year period, its one-hour morning peak increased by 150%, leaving its operator with a tough question: Invest in more capacity or embrace a new way of thinking?

New thinking won the day – and made for very satisfied passengers. Copenhagen Airport reduced process times, increased employee productivity by 42%, and was awarded the most efficient airport in Northern Europe for the eighth time. Could this new way of thinking be the solution you’re looking for?

Watch how they solved their airport’s biggest challenge or get the solution to their success.

The new way of thinking

As you’ve seen in the video, Copenhagen Airport describes ‘new thinking’ this way:

“The thing about airport management is that you are managing so many different things. If you change something in one area, it will have an effect somewhere else…” In other words, “[You need to] focus on the entire value chain.”

Copenhagen Airport reveals that the way ahead was a platform that integrated the planning and optimization of 11 different departments that have completely different rules and processes.

The solution you’re looking for

These are the improvements an integrated resource planning solution would bring to your airport:

  • optimize staff scheduling during the heaviest hours
  • communicate revised plans quickly across various airport systems
  • respond swiftly to disruptions caused by delays and extreme weather

Your airport will not only boost its efficiency, but also reduce operational costs, keeping your stakeholders, passengers, and staff happy. Will you join the ranks of leading airports now or will you wait till the end of this story?

Planning an airport is like solving a jigsaw puzzle in the dark. Maybe you know how many pieces there are. Maybe you even had time for a quick glance before the lights went out. But most of the time, there aren’t even enough straight pieces to form a complete border.

Our goal at Quintiq is not only to provide sufficient light, but also to find the box with the picture on the front. We aim to make your work a whole lot easier and more efficient, so you can focus on the important part: making informed decisions. This in turn leads to better plans, which ultimately helps to meet the airport’s goal: making money.

Your quest is almost over. Collect your guide to solving your airport’s biggest challenge now.

CATEGORY

Aviation, Workforce Optimization

AUTHOR

Sriyani Rao.

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Sriyani Rao

About Sriyani Rao

I'm a community specialist for Quintiq, a job that makes for an interesting ice breaker! I learn new things everyday on this job; it’s a constant experiment when it comes to doing engagement on social media. My role is to help spread the message that when it comes to supply chain optimization and planning, Q’s the word!