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The A-Z series: Y for You—only you are ultimately responsible for your GSE fleets

by Eleonora Malacarne on Jan 23, 2020 9:00:00 AM

The A-Z series Y for You—only you are ultimately responsible for your GSE fleets

We are down to the very final articles in our A-Z series of fleet management and the penultimate letter—Y for You. If you operate a fleet—whether that be GSE or not—you may actually not be considering yourself when it comes to an honest assessment of what could be done to improve the performance of your fleet or you might be turning a blind eye to unsafe practices or stuck in a routine mode of operating that maybe isn’t in the best interests of your fleet.

Let’s discuss you as a potential issue for your fleet—‘you’ is something you cannot ignore!

#1 – You spend too much time on reports and paperwork. It is certainly one of the duties of fleet managers among the other numerous responsibilities including making sure customers are satisfied, drivers are motivated and vehicles are in good working order. But unfortunately fleet managers often spend too much time bogged down in this chore while they should be relying on reports and statistics that could reduce the amount of paperwork and free you up for tasks that contribute more to the commercial development of your business.

#2 – You never assess your maintenance schedules. It might be because you do not have the time, because you still work with manual methods or simply because you are under the misconception that things will always tick along one way or another. If you are actually in possession of fleet data via different platforms or sources, you will quickly come to the realisation that different circumstances can lead to different results and that you should analyse your results on a regular basis in order to stick with the same strategy or deviate from it.

#3 – You do not compare costs and operations. Although this is something apparently uncommon today, it can be that you are using the same vendors for the same type of service or the same drivers for trips. You might be surprised how analysing costs or activity can offer us useful material to digest and assess whether to switch to another vendor or whether one driver rather than another might be more suitable for a particular route—he might actually thank you for the change; and a degree of satisfaction can definitely improve performance.

#4 – Not using failure analysis. We know the work of the fleet manager is hard and that fleet managers are often asked, although only human, to behave like machines. But we also know mistakes happen. Now, mistakes can have within them the seeds of something positive, but only if we investigate how they happened in the first place and take corrective measures to ensure they don’t happen again. So, even if you are a proud perfectionist, put that attitude out of your mind when it comes to making the most of failure analysis—you might be surprised how this might actually work for you!

 

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Topics: Fleet Management, GSE fleets, Airport fleet management

Ongoing demand for airport catering trucks to reach new heights over the next decade

by Eleonora Malacarne on Jan 21, 2020 9:00:00 AM

Demand for Airport Catering Trucks to Surpass 3 Billion Units by 2028

According to a new report by Fact.MR, recently published in Airport Catering Trucks Market, continued demand for aircraft ground support has stimulated growth in the sector and provided opportunities for stakeholders. This is due to an increase in infrastructure investment by airport authorities and airline companies, which has stimulated demand for airport catering trucks globally.

The new study indicates that the ongoing construction of new airports in developed and emerging economies is expanding the market for airport catering trucks at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.7%.

The majority of demand comes from within developed economies, North America and Europe, where the volume of sales in terms of airport catering trucks is specifically focussed in the USA, Germany, the UK and Russia. North America is very much at the forefront, with Europe in second place and a burgeoning market for air travel is also contributing to global demand.

Increased focus on airport infrastructure enhancement and expansion in the number of airports in developing economies such as China and India is motivating sales in regional markets. There will be a substantial increase in demand for airport catering trucks in China as a result of the government’s plan to construct 136 new airports by 2025. Sales in India and Oceania are also expected to surge.

Refrigeration is integral to the transportation of perishable goods and always a major consideration. However, with refrigeration comes higher costs which are passed on to the price of the airport catering truck. As a consequence of this, there is usually a higher demand for non-refrigerated trucks. There is no foreseeable reason that this position will change between the assessed period covering 2018-2028.

Fact.MR reports that hybrid catering trucks are the preferred asset of choice for end-users. The market for these types of truck are 19 times that of electric catering trucks. It is the demand for flexibility in fuel consumption and economy along with engine power and durability that make hybrid airport trucks so economically viable for end-users. This market position, however, may shift significantly toward electric catering trucks as a result of Environment Protection Act (EPA) regulations on carbon emissions and from environmental pressures, heralding a higher value CAGR, albeit from a low base.

The reports also states there is an increased emphasis on launching electric catering trucks to meet the growth in demand. Manufacturers are keen to consolidate their position in the airport catering trucks market, both within developed and emerging economies given the anticipated growth in the latter. 

The report finds that participants are focusing on to fulfil their increasing demand. In addition, manufacturers are aiming to, particularly in the emerging economies given their significant potential for growth.

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Topics: GSE fleets, Airport fleet management

New Year’s resolutions for aviation fleets: what to keep in mind

by Eleonora Malacarne on Jan 8, 2020 9:00:00 AM

New Year’s resolutions for aviation fleets what to keep in mind

2019 is but a few days away, and if you still haven’t found time to formulate some sensible resolutions for 2020... now is very much the time—it is never too late to get started with a few that relate to GSE fleets and the whole sector.

Let’s have a look at what might be some of the better resolutions you could make become a reality in 2020!

#1 - Reinforce productivity. If you have the right resources available and your workforce is trained to achieve the best performance, you should definitely look into reinforcing productivity from any perspective—for example, your staff may be dedicating a lot of time to something unnecessarily tedious that you could possibly automate and speed up: consider GSE assets maintenance checks, for example...

#2 - Get rid of obsolescence. Old is gold as the adage goes, but it is definitely a saying you shouldn’t always take at face value. It might be the case that you are in possession of ageing vehicles that are still efficient and work, and that’s fine, but you may also be working according to stale practices that need to be updated in favour of something more efficient or safer. If you can decide what is obsolete, of course, and have reliable sources that tell you so ... it’s always going to be that bit simpler.

#3 – Embrace the smart airport. In the last decade, air traffic has increased significantly, creating challenges for security, as well as impacting the flow of people, baggage and aircraft. Airports are heavily investing in smart technologies such as IoT (Internet of Things) to overcome these challenges and improve their efficiency and security. Several technologies such as facial recognition, smart check-in, baggage tracking and connectivity permeate every modern airport, with new trends emerging that allow a better passenger experience. With this future unfolding as we speak, and the fact that technology is everywhere we go and integral to our everyday lives, embrace the change and go with it—try to find how to exploit it; be a pioneer and make a difference.

#4 – Think about the environment. With climate change being such an emergency and many aviation actors sharing emissions related projects that seek to decrease their carbon footprint, you should definitely look into ways of diminishing the impact of this activity on the environment if you haven’t done so already. If you want to start decreasing your fuel consumption, we are here to help.

This is just four of the resolutions GSE fleets should implement—we can help you realise them all!

 

 

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Topics: GSE fleets, Airport fleet management

Happy new year from the Transpoco team!

by Eleonora Malacarne on Jan 1, 2020 9:00:00 AM

Happy New Year from the Transpoco Team!

Year 2020 has finally taken off and we would like to wish you and your fleets all the best for this new beginning!

We came across a post by Aviation Pros that shows not only how beautiful can a tropical island like Tahiti be - in case you are still enjoying your end of the year break - but also how challenging can be keeping up with great ground operations. It's not easy, it's hard work but we can make it together!


Enjoy the video! We hope to continue improving your team efficiency and productivity this 2020 - and not only...

 

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Topics: GSE fleets, Airport fleet management

The festive season—how does the aviation sector celebrate?

by Eleonora Malacarne on Dec 25, 2019 9:00:00 AM

The festive season—how does the aviation sector celebrate?

The festive season is upon us once more! As a way to celebrate it and wish you all the best for Christmas, the New Year and anything else you might want to celebrate during this particular time of the year, let’s have a look at how the aviation sector gets in step with the Christmas festivities!

#1 – Getting into the Christmas spirit with special liveries. An extremely classical way to celebrate and one where competition between rivals is lively! Have a look at how airlines celebrate the festive season by decorating their aircraft—whether it’s with reindeers, Santa or Christmas trees!

The festive season—how does the aviation sector celebrate1

The festive season—how does the aviation sector celebrate2

#2 - Christmas-related sky drawings. This might sound like something quite nerdy, but it is important to remind ourselves that this has actually been done during test flights or special initiatives by single airlines and not on passenger normal flights! See in these funny examples how drawing Christmas trees with airplanes or wishing a great holiday season has been a trend in recent years!

The festive season—how does the aviation sector celebrate3

#3 – The good old Santa/Father Christmas hat. Check out these two pilots from SATA Air Açores (Portugal) who donned their Santa caps for their Christmas flight. We are pretty sure, now they have been snapped, that they are setting a trend or maybe they were inspired by other pilots already doing it…. Who knows?

The festive season—how does the aviation sector celebrate4


Anyway, Merry Christmas, Happy New Year for 2020 and enjoy the festive season!

 

 

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Topics: GSE fleets, Airport fleet management

Why would aviation fleet directors write a letter to Santa?

by Eleonora Malacarne on Dec 19, 2019 9:00:00 AM

Why would aviation fleet directors write a letter to Santa?

Writing a letter to Father Christmas, aka Santa Claus, is an annual tradition dating back generations. Making a wish list and sending off an envelope to the North Pole marks the beginning of the build up to Christmas for children all over the world. 

But getting back to childhood memories might actually be a temptation even for those who are well into adulthood and even now dream of the opportunity of having a Father Christmas or Santa make their wishes come true and magically fix all their immediate concerns for the foreseeable future!

Aviation fleet directors may well fall into that category and dream of taking some pressure off by asking Father Christmas/Santa for a particularly special gift or two to that effect—what, then, would likely be on their personal Santa wish list?

Let’s take a peek!

#1 – Running a clean GSE fleet. With new technologies and the ultimate aim to switch to electric vehicles so as to minimise our impact on the planet, why not put this to Santa and get started with a zero emissions GSE fleet? As costs still seem such a real-life obstacle to procuring these types of vehicle, this wish would indeed be a blessing for everyone.

#2 – The ability to magically ‘freeze frame’. With such tight timings and with turnaround times being key to what defines an efficient GSE fleet, aviation fleet managers would probably love nothing more than the magical ability to ‘freeze frame’ and then have time to make all the right decisions (better still—the ability to rewind in some cases!). Making efficient use of time is more than essential in any operation and would definitely be on the wish list.

#3 – Bestowing superpowers on GSE staff. When it comes to magic and special gifts for Christmas, well everything is on the table! If GSE fleet managers had the opportunity of taking advantage of Santa’s help, we are pretty sure that making their staff ultra-efficient and completely risk adverse would definitely be on the list.

#4 – Making the most of technology. With all the available opportunities the aviation sector is currently enjoying in this sector, it would definitely be a pity not to make the most of them all! So this is another one of those desirable upgrades the sensible aviation fleet manager is really hankering after.

 

What do all these desires have in common? Like Santa, Transpoco and Synx know how to make your wishes become a reality—we know how to make your GSE fleet ... fly! Contact us to learn more.

 

 

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Topics: GSE fleets, Airport fleet management

GSE and autonomous vehicles: trial at Toulouse Airport announced

by Eleonora Malacarne on Dec 17, 2019 9:00:00 AM

GSE and autonomous vehicles trial at Toulouse airport announced

At the end of November, Air France, together with Charlatte Autonom, a subsidiary of Charlatte Manutention and NAVYA, and with Toulouse Airport announced the testing in real conditions of an autonomous baggage tractor, which has already been defined "a world first".

The trial of the AT135 baggage tractor, produced by Charlatte, started on 15th November, 2019, when the vehicle began to operate between the baggage sorting area and the aircraft. According to Charlatte, this autonomous, electric, safe and on demand vehicle is the solution to facilitate the transport of goods on industrial sites and airports.

The vehicle is equipped with intelligent sensors enabling it to recognise its environment, detect obstacles with 360-degree vision and make decisions. Camera, GPS, odometer sensors and autonomous steering software enable it to move around the airport autonomously.

With the roll-out of smart, autonomous vehicles, air transport players aim to improve baggage flow performance and ramp safety at airport hubs. By automating traffic flows, operators can focus on decision-making and management actions, which saves time and efficiency when handling aircraft.

According to Vincent Euzeby, Head of IT & Tech Innovation at Air France, “By facilitating the use of an autonomous baggage tractor and perfectly integrating it into its operational processes, Air France's ambition is to further optimize its operational performance and improve its customers' travel experience. This test is the first step to a more widespread roll-out of autonomous vehicles at our airports.”

“We are very proud of this world-first operation highlighting in real conditions the added value of our AT135 autonomous tractor, combining the expertise of Charlatte Manutention and NAVYA. The roll-out on a larger scale of autonomous vehicles should contribute to easing increasingly dense logistics flows”, added Bastien Devaux, CEO of Charlatte Autonom.

 “This test is a concrete step to designing the Smart Airport, more innovative, connected and more efficient for our customers. It was only natural that this world first took place at Toulouse Airport, the pioneer city of aviation”, added Philippe Crébassa, Chairman of the Executive Board of Toulouse-Blagnac Airport.

 

 

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Topics: GSE fleets, Airport fleet management

Transpoco develops bespoke airport de-icing technology

by Eleonora Malacarne on Dec 10, 2019 9:00:00 AM

Transpoco develops bespoke airport de-icing technology

Transpoco, the leading telematics and aviation fleet management software provider, has developed a bespoke de-icing monitoring solution for a major airport client, with the co-operation of vehicle manufacturer, Schmidt.

The technology was commissioned to solve the problem of the airport having no visibility of vehicles moving around the airport, or of having no digital record of where, or how much, potassium acetate was being used in its Schmidt de-icing equipment. The airport team were also unable to robustly report that all necessary de-icing work had been completed to airport operations and environmental agencies if required.

To successfully solve the problem, Transpoco were tasked with installing the monitoring technology which involved cooperating with Schmidt to update the software on its controllers in the de-icing equipment to ensure that the data feed was compatible and readable by the Transpoco devices. As a result of the installation the airport operations team were able to provide accurate reports in real-time of usage and coverage on site to ensure aircraft stands, aprons and roadways were treated appropriately and in a timely fashion.

Commenting on the airport project, Transpoco CEO, Andrew Fleury said “The development of this bespoke technology is another example of how Transpoco can adapt its product to the many varying needs of the aviation world. The important cooperation with Schmidt also demonstrates how the Transpoco team can form productive partnerships to deliver the ideal solution to the customer.” Fleury added, “Thanks to our skilled development team and the opportunity to adapt a vehicle manufacturer’s software, we have produced a solution that can be offered to the industry at large”.

Transpoco is a leading telematics and fleet management software provider based out of Dublin, Ireland with solutions implemented in over 60 different countries & airports including Dublin, Madrid, Barcelona, London, Paris, Lisbon & Brussels.

With a commitment to world class solutions and innovation Transpoco has built a reputation as a key supplier for the aviation industry, offering operational and safety improvements while maintaining a high return on investment within a very short period.

 

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Topics: GSE fleets, Airport fleet management

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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