Comment: How technology can help in effective ground operations recovery

posted on 2nd June 2021 by Edward Robertson
Comment: How technology can help in effective ground operations recovery

Tal Leemor, head of partnerships at tracking system provider hoopo, believes that tracking technologies can help the aviation industry recover from the global slump and lead to more efficient long-term operational efficiencies

For the past year, airports have been operating in a near zero-revenue environment, Leemor says. Covid-19 brought a myriad of challenges that significantly impacted business, including enormous pressures on cost and fleet management and the need for compliance with stricter health regulations and travel restrictions, as well as a refocus on financing priorities.

But as air travel reopens, the industry will face a new challenge: how quickly and efficiently can airports adapt to a restart? The way ground handlers answer this question will dictate their success as they move forward, Leemor suggests.

As air travel ramps up, technology, automation and innovation will play a key role in differentiating one airport from another, she observes. In order to rapidly restart business without wasting money, handlers will first need to monetise their existing fleet.

Leemor says: “A recent McKinsey & Company study shows that companies that wait until all lockdowns are lifted and growth recovery takes place may have waited too long.

“It will therefore be crucial for ground handlers to assess and determine their readiness to reopen, and develop an airport infrastructure usage plan that will include GSE movement and maintenance monitoring, so they are fully prepared.”

By automating and maintaining excellent control over their fleets with cost-effective GSE visibility solutions, they can guarantee optimal ground operations, Leemor argues. Such systems offer short-term benefits such as right-sizing to support increased cargo demand as well as GSE visibility providing data on the live location of equipment.

In addition, tracking technologies provide longer term benefits such as data insights on fleet utilisation, which promote optimal, data-based procurement decisions.

“With proper equipment flexibility, airports can rapidly and cost effectively transform their GSE fleet in a sustainable way,” Leemor says.

“It is expected that the most successful airports going forward will be those that are able to contain costs as they ramp up operations. It’s clear that tracking assets’ location, monitoring actual utilisation, and enabling on-demand retrieval of assets enables a leaner, more focused fleet strategy. With proper telematics, ground handlers will be able to efficiently transition and continue to thrive as flights increase and business picks up.”

Leemor made the comments as hoopo continues to work closely with the KONOIKE Group having formed a partnership in February which has seen the introduction of hoopoLogic tracking technology on GSE at Japan’s Kansai International Airport.

Originally a logistics and transport specialist, KONOIKE has expanded into manufacturing, medical and other sectors, including airport operations.

The hoopoLogic system is provided by iLand6, the local distributor of hoopo’s system in Japan.

A statement from KONOIKE Ground Service said: “Technology can help ground handlers deliver high-quality services to their airline clients by creating affordable visibility to their fleet of cargo dollies with the aim of eliminating manual search and improving turnaround times.”

Hoopo’s GSE tracking solution will be used to generate and analyse location-based data in an effort to improve ground operations at Kansai through improved visualisation of GSE in real time. hoopoLogic tracking helps optimise asset utilisation and therefore minimise procurement requirements.

Plus, says hoopo, data collected can be used in a wider context to improve resource allocation in and between airports.