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Welcome to the winter aviation season - or the season of de-icing

by Eleonora Malacarne on Dec 3, 2019 9:00:00 AM

Welcome to the winter aviation season - or the season of de-icing

If winter officially starts on 22nd December, the aviation winter season - or, as it is more commonly known, the de-icing season - generally starts in October, depending on the weather conditions. From October to March, more staff are employed by GSE fleets and specially-designed vehicles are ready to tackle snow and ice head on

Far from being the simple process passengers might have in their imagination, one of spreading salt over runways, taxiways and aprons (which in reality is entirely unsuitable for aviation as salt can damage aircraft), de-icing is the process of removing snow, ice or frost from a surface. Anti-icing is understood to be the application of chemicals that not only de-ice but also remain on a surface and continue to delay the reformation of ice for a certain period of time, or prevent adhesion of ice to make mechanical removal easier.

De-icing and anti-icing operations have to be customised for every airport, company and local setting, although the general rule is that aircraft that has snow/ice contamination on critical surfaces cannot take-off. De-icing and anti-icing vehicles are inspected as well as the aircraft and any contamination found is removed by a de-icing treatment and followed by an anti-icing solution if required, while other parts can be cleaned manually upon confirmation with the flight crew.

Efficient de-icing can definitely be a game-changer as most delays in the transport cycle occur at the airport and de-icing is a key procedure in the turnaround of aircraft. Delays due to de-icing and travel distance of de-icing vehicles need to be minimised as much as possible - something which has been made achievable thanks to the technology brought into GSE fleets. The ability to record de-icing/anti-icing vehicle trips to document and process information related to them and to set up alerts for de-icing events allows proactive resource allocation and capacity forecast calculation that help in meeting the requirements of customers.

With GSE fleet management systems that are highly customisable it is possible to tackle the two main issues connected with the de-icing process: congestion and environmental aspects. In regards to congestion, gaining asset visibility helps GSE staff to optimise the activity of de-icers, achieving greater efficiency on the number of aircraft attended to at one time. The environmental impact of de-icing procedures is constantly debated, however, the benefits of monitoring in saving the quantities of de-icing or anti-icing liquids consumed has been clearly proven.

 

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Topics: GSE fleets, Airport fleet management

The growth of the Middle Eastern aviation market

by Eleonora Malacarne on Nov 28, 2019 8:45:00 AM

The growth of the Middle Eastern Aviation market

Events like the Dubai Airshow 2019, with more than 1,288 exhibitors in attendance, 161 aircraft on the event’s static display, 84,043 trade attendees and orders booked on site reaching $54.5 billion (almost €50b) by close of business demonstrate once again that the Middle East is a pivotal player in global aviation.

The Middle East Region is an area of high prosperity and home of over 400 million people, with a high percentage of expats, which has been at the center of dramatic changes in global aviation long haul markets. Its incredible expansion has been helped by a number of aspects: its almost perfect geographic centrality, with 80% of the world's population located within 8 hours, the arrival of the new generation of large aircraft, a more liberal attitude towards market access and the implementation of solid and coherent aviation policies.

The seat capacity to the Middle East advanced quite significantly in recent years and almost doubled in the last 10 years, between 2009 and 2018. In 2018, there was a reported 264.31 million scheduled departing seats from the region, up 101% versus 2009. Looking at the past decade in more detail, it shows that the biggest growth surge took place between 2013 and 2016, with over 67 million departing seats being added to the region over the course of the three-year period. Such incredible growth is however now stagnating, with Middle Eastern airlines posting a 2.9% traffic increase in August of this year, which was an increase from a 1.7% rise in July. While this was better than the average of the past twelve months, it remains far below the double-digit growth trend of recent years.

The challenge is for the aviation market of the Middle East to continue staying competitive with the help of technology, which combined with innovative thinking, can unlock aviation's future growth potential, made up of actions that will enhance every step of the passenger journey in a sustainable and safe manner. All airports are now turning to technology to make this process better for travellers but also to increase efficiencies while remaining compliant with regulations. But what are the aviation-friendly technologies that will take over during the next decade?

  • Computed tomography technology (CT): its role will become more significant, with an increase of its use in the cabin baggage screening process, with the result of passengers being able to keep liquids and electronic items in their hand luggage and a faster screening to the gate;
  • Artificial Intelligence: thanks to its implementation, systems will be able to detect prohibited items with an overall improvement of operations;
  • Big Data: with the amount of available data increasing each minute, the insights we’ll be able to gather from it are only going to be more and more beneficial. GSE vehicle data won't be an exception and screening data will be the base for more evolved risk-based screening processes;
  • GSE fleet management: while this is already a reality and a real help to optimise ground service equipment activity, we can only imagine future changes that also impact on global transport such as the arrival of autonomous vehicles;
  • Biometrics at the checkpoint: thanks to AI and the increasing availability of data pertaining to a passenger’s journey, we’ll see biometric recognition more widely implemented; including for instant identity verification as the traveller moves through the airport and minimising the need for physical documents.

 

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Topics: GSE fleets, Airport fleet management

Easyjet launched zero-emission flights campaign

by Eleonora Malacarne on Nov 26, 2019 9:00:00 AM

Easyjet launched zero-emission flights campaign-1

EasyJet launched a zero emissions flights campaign last week with the aim of becoming the world's first airline to operate zero carbon flights. The airline announced it will offset all emissions coming from the fuel used on all its flights through a £25m plan (around €29m) that will be rolled out in the next financial year to plant trees or avoid the release of additional emissions. The action taken by the low-cost carrier is meant to be, according to its chief executive, an interim measure that will be continue until the evolution towards clean energy for aviation and electric planes will become reality.

Easyjet's campaign follows the recent pledges of other airlines, including British Airways and Lufthansa, that launched their offset projects due to the mounting pressure on the aviation industry to address its environmental impact. According to Sustainable Aviation, the global aviation industry produces around 2% of all human-induced CO2 emissions and is responsible for 12% of CO2 emissions from all transport sources, compared to 74% from road transport. In 2016 a first huge step was taken when the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) adopted the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA) to address CO2 emissions from international aviation and stabilize net CO2 emissions from international civil aviation at 2020 levels.

The environmental concerns are also obviously felt by GSE fleets that are considering a series of different measures to tackle the emissions challenge, such as the adoption of non idling policies and the auditing of fuel and assets use. A few projects developed in the past by the European Commission, such as the AAS project, have worked to develop, implement and investigate the implications of high tech systems for comprehensive monitoring and controlling of all Ground Service Equipment ('GSE') vehicles and movements in apron areas and proved that decreasing vehicle movements and fuel consumption could significantly improve environmental sustainability.

GSE telematics systems help in reducing fuel consumption, monitoring the use of vehicles and establishing more efficient in-airport routes that allow to save time and decrease emissions. With the current emission targets accomplishment being essential for the aviation sector and the growing awareness of consumers that increasingly choose low-emission providers, there is no reason to delay moving to GSE fleet management solutions - talk to us if you want to learn more.

 

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Topics: GSE fleets, Airport fleet management

3 mistakes that ground handlers should avoid at any cost

by Eleonora Malacarne on Nov 21, 2019 9:00:00 AM

3 mistakes that ground handlers should avoid at any cost

In the daily operations of ground support equipment, that circle around the departure and arrival of aircraft that have to take place in limited spaces with a great deal of time pressure, there are unfortunately many things that can go wrong.

In order to maximise safety in such a challenging environment, to meet airline requirements and comply with their strict turnaround times, there are some mistakes that ground handlers have to avoid at any cost. In this post we deal with 3 of them.

#1 Compromising training time. The learning curve of ground handling staff is an important one, but the time dedicated to training staff must not be sacrificed. The majority of aviation literature is about the training of pilots, cabin crew and engineers, while the shared knowledge about ground services is still limited. Practical training is thus an extremely important resource, as there is also no specific accreditation schemes or licenses in place as is the case for other aviation roles.

#2 Not understanding which aircraft they are dealing with. This might be seen as something obvious but it is actually extremely challenging if we think about the ground operations usually required, the high density of equipment needed per aircraft, the fact that a lot of ground handling work needs to happen simultaneously and in a swift way. Knowing the aircraft configuration and part is then essential in order to consider manoeuvring on the ramp, with special reference to limited space or special components that have to be considered to avoid human error and incidents.

#3 Not reporting abnormal procedures. Abnormal operations that do not lead to visible damage, "near-miss" incidents and similar events need to be reported even if they do not cause injuries or harm. The idea is that only approved and standardized procedures are adopted, while abnormal one are flagged in order not to be repeated.

 

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Topics: GSE fleets, Airport fleet management

Transpoco to form Telematics Partnerships at Dubai Airshow

by Eleonora Malacarne on Nov 18, 2019 9:00:00 AM

Transpoco to form Telematics Partnerships at Dubai Airshow

Transpoco, the leading telematics and aviation fleet management software provider, is attending the Dubai Airshow to meet with a number of UAE based companies, with the aim of forming partnerships to supply its aviation ground service equipment (GSE) telematics solution.

Transpoco will travel to Dubai as part of the Enterprise Ireland Ministerial Trade and Investment Mission to Kuwait, UAE and Bahrain and will be at the show on the 19th November.

Transpoco is already recognised within Europe following the development of its bespoke aviation fleet management technology that has provided financial and operational efficiencies for airlines, airports and handling agents across the continent. The technology can similarly meet the GSE monitoring requirements of aviation companies based in the UAE and surrounding middle eastern locations and Transpoco has a series of meetings set up with companies at the show with the view to establish partnerships that can benefit from the same solutions in the region.

CEO of Transpoco, Andrew Fleury, will be attending the airshow and said:

“Following on from our successes in Europe, we have had a tremendous response to our technology in the UAE and are looking forward to developing some new and productive relationships while we are there this week”.

Transpoco recently announced its success in being awarded a contract by national flag carrier, Iberia, to implement its advanced fleet management solution on its ground support equipment in numerous airports across the airline’s Spanish network.

 

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Topics: GSE fleets, Airport fleet management

Transpoco to bring its GSE telematics solution to the Dubai Airshow

by Eleonora Malacarne on Nov 14, 2019 9:00:00 AM

Transpoco attending the Dubai Airshow 2019_1


As part of the expansion of the activity in the aviation sector, Transpoco is visiting the Dubai Airshow 2019 event next week. Transpoco will take part to the international aviation show as part of an Enterprise Ireland Trade & Investment Mission to Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Bahrain, led by Minister of State for Trade, Employment, Business, EU Digital Single Market and Data Protection, Pat Breen T.D.

With the Middle East seeing a boom in the aviation sector, the programme represents a unique opportunity for Transpoco to generate further business and enter into commercial relations with both airlines and ground handlers. Transpoco will be discussing its GSE telematics solution in Dubai and work with Enterprise Ireland to organize business meetings and to be involved in networking events together with potential partners, with the opportunity of developing business and targeting new customers.

The Dubai Airshow 2019 is probably going to be the biggest aerospace event in the Middle East, Asia & Africa. It will count on 1,300 exhibitors, media representation from every corner of the globe, 165 aircraft on display and feature areas. The 2019 edition will in fact see a number of dedicated spaces and conferences return to the show along with new additions: the one-day conference Airline CXO Summit, Airport Solutions Dubai, where the airport community will discuss the disruptors of the industry like AI, IoT and Big Data, the Cargo Connect event, Global Air Traffic Management and Space Pavilion and tech talks.

Commercial and general aviation, defence, space and cargo will be all involved in what will be an event dedicated to industry players making connections - with 80% of the world's population located within 8 hours from the event.

 

 

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Topics: News, Stats & Facts, GSE fleets, Airport fleet management

Ground handler injured in airport incident

by Eleonora Malacarne on Nov 12, 2019 9:00:00 AM

Ground handler injured in airport incident

A ground handler was seriously injured in an incident which took place around 10 days ago in the Dabolim airport in Goa, India, which involved the collision of a catering vehicle and a ground handling vehicle.

The incident took place shortly after the landing of Bangalore-Goa flight of the airline Air India which was supposed to later take-off towards Dubai. The passengers travelling to Dubai from Goa experienced a 2 hour delay.

According to airport sources, a catering vehicle and a ground handling vehicle which were both moving towards the aircraft, suffered a minor collision, which although resulted in the member of ground handling staff being injure and immediately rushed to the local hospital in a critical state.

The aircraft was not directly involved in the incident and no damage was caused to it.

It is being claimed, but yet unverified, that the incident took place due to the “failure of hydraulic movement” of the catering vehicle which was approaching the aircraft.

 

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Topics: GSE fleets, Airport fleet management

2 Ground Handling Companies fined for aircraft damage

by Eleonora Malacarne on Nov 7, 2019 9:00:00 AM

2 Ground Handling Companies fined for aircraft damage

Last week, two local ground handling service providers have been fined due to the damage of an aircraft at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport. According to declarations released by the Taiwan Ministry of Transportation and Communications, the causes of the incident could have been human negligence or mechanical failure.

The remark comes after the ministry of Taiwan conducted an investigation into aircraft damage caused by poor ground handling services. According to press sources, the frequency of these type of incidents has increased at the Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport, putting the reputation and the image of the airport at risk.

In the month of October alone, the airport was the scene of 3 incidents which put the safety of the airport under scrutiny. The most serious of them took place on October 6th, when a Japan Airlines flight was delayed of nearly 8 hours after the aircraft was damaged while being towed to its gate before being boarded. The left engine cover of the aircraft scratched against a passenger gateway while the ground crew was towing the aircraft to the gate. After the incident, the identified accountable companies, Taoyuan International Airport Services Co. and Evergreen Airline Services Co. were fined for poor management and aircraft damage.

Following the incident and in an attempt to reduce safety risks, the local Deputy Transport Minister Wang Kwo-tsai stated the ministry would look into introducing a surveillance system to monitor ground operations by the end of 2019.

 

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Topics: GSE fleets, Airport fleet management

3 ways your Ground Support Equipment Fleet can save on costs

by Eleonora Malacarne on Nov 5, 2019 9:02:00 AM

3 ways your Ground Support Equipment Fleet can save on costs

Operating Ground Support Equipment Fleets is anything but easy. Daily ground support operations are carried out in fast sequences with very low room for mistakes, as these can lead to costly delays. The most diverse activities are carried out on the ramp, from vehicle maintenance to aircraft refueling, from de-icing (when necessary) to baggage management.

In such a demanding and fast-moving environment, ground handlers have to consider cost savings as one of their top priorities without endangering compliance and safety of passengers and workers. But there are some sound principles that, if followed, can still allow ground handlers to spare money. Let's have a look at them.

#1 Choosing the right vehicles. Vehicle choice is something that should happen after thorough consideration. In some environments, electric GSE can prove to be more efficient than diesel-powered equipment, and viceversa. The adoption of a vehicle can be justified despite high acquisition costs if proving to be more suitable for your type of procedures compared to another. A specific vehicle might not be perfect for anyone, but there is a great deal of data you can obtain from your assets that can help you make the appropriate decision in terms of savings and efficiency.

#2 Keeping vehicles in working order. Scheduled maintenance as well as daily vehicle checks are always the best way to save money down the road by avoiding last-minute servicing or costly rushed parts shipping. Unexpected repairs can be avoided by building a personalised maintenance calendar based on the actual needs of your GSE fleet, its actual working hours and performance.

#3 Getting the entire perspective. Before making important decision it is necessary to consider the overarching story of your fleet. If you can count on an accurate big picture view of your operations, identifying unnecessary costs (as well as unrevealed saving strategies) will be much easier.

 

 

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Topics: GSE fleets, Airport fleet management

4 demanding tasks airport ground handlers are called to face

by Eleonora Malacarne on Oct 31, 2019 9:03:00 AM

3 demanding tasks airport ground handlers are called to face


The ground handling industry is experiencing a steady growth in the last years. According to data shared by Aviation Pros, in 2016 the sector has been valued $54M by Visiongain, with strong growth rates to be projected over the following decade. According to Technavio, the annual growth rate of the ground handling sector is going to be of approximately 6 percent by 2020. Another forecast, the one of GM Insights, projects the aircraft ground handling system market size to exceed $160M by 2022.

Despite the extremely positive news and the fact that ground handlers are experiencing a moment of unprecedented prosperity, we don't have to forger that this means increased pressure and fierce competition.

What are the most demanding tasks ground handlers are called to face?

#1 - Meeting environmental targets. The aviation industry is growing at a fast pace and so is the ground handling industry, as a consequence. Handling fleets and GSE are subject to an increasing demand and have to be efficient, not only in terms of service, but also of environmental targets - that's why they are starting to look into alternative vehicles or ways to avoid unnecessary vehicle movements and fuel waste.

#2 - Providing a safe place to work. With so much going on in such a restricted space and time frame, concerns are high about safety for workers and passengers and the need for swift operations obviously must not compromise vehicle checks, maintenance and the carrying out of standardised procedures, that should not be skipped.

#3 - Reducing incidents. It has been estimated that occupational hazards, injuries and absences from the workplace result in multi-billion dollar costs close to $4B to the aviation industry and more specifically in the ground operations sector. In terms of aircraft ground damages, the $4B figure is closer to around $12B when the ancillary costs related to injuries, staff shortages, insurance-related costs to both employers and employees and other factors are taken into consideration. With such an activity increase, there is obviously good news in terms of business, but also more possibility of incidents - hence why this is a current and should be a constant challenge for ground handlers.

#4 - Keeping the pace with increasing air traffic. Congestion does not only happen in the air or on the roads of a country, but in airports too. The pressure is high to have efficient transportation systems, automated airport terminals and fast operations before take-off and after landing. Ground handlers need to understand the ongoing and future requirements and be ready to manage operations and comply with the expanding requirements.


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