Airport aprons are high-stakes, high-traffic areas where constant vigilance is required to protect passengers, crew, and airport workers. Due to the high volume of daily aircraft movements and ground support equipment operations, it is imperative to have real-time visibility into the whereabouts, movements, and actions of all objects and personnel on the apron. In 2023 alone, several incidents have highlighted this need:
- On January 3, a ramp agent was fatally injured after being ingested into an aircraft engine at Montgomery Regional Airport.
- On January 19, a JetBlue airplane struck a parked aircraft as it exited the gate at JFK International Airport.
- On February 3, a Boeing 787 being towed into an adjacent gate clipped the winglet of a United Airlines Boeing 757 at Newark Liberty International Airport.
- On February 10, five people were hurt after a shuttle bus struck an Airbus 321 on the taxiway at LAX.
- On March 6, two United Airlines aircraft clipped wings at Boston Logan International Airport.
The Synaptic Aviation system was designed specifically to prevent such incidents. Synaptic Aviation’s AI is revolutionizing the way in which ground service crews work by keeping every stakeholder informed about aircraft movements and ground support routines in real-time. This article will explain why real-time alerts from Synaptic Aviation AI are critical for safety on airport aprons.
Recent IATA Study Reveals the Need for Enhanced GSE and Other Damage Prevention Measures
The IATA recently released a study that emphasizes the need to transition to Enhanced Ground Support Equipment (GSE) to prevent the annual cost of ground damage from doubling to nearly $10 billion by 2035. The study found that:
- Motorized GSE striking the fuselage of the aircraft is the primary cause of aircraft ground damage.
- Widebody aircraft have a ten times higher ground damage rate than narrowbody aircraft.
- Belt-loaders, cargo-loaders, passenger stairs, and passenger boarding bridges are responsible for 40% of total incidents, making them the primary focus for transitioning to Enhanced GSE.
- Transitioning 75% of these equipment types to Enhanced GSE with anti-collision technology would reduce the current expected ground damage cost per turn rate by 42%.
In addition to transitioning to enhanced GSE, the aviation industry needs to improve the way they monitor the apron and alert all stakeholders of potential hazards.
How Synaptic Aviation’s AI Can Help Support Your GSE and Reduce Damage Incidents
Avoid Property Damage on Airport Aprons
Property damage is a major concern on airport aprons. Vehicles, aircraft, and ground support equipment are all at risk of collisions due to their constant motion and necessary contact. Significant property damage and expensive repairs are starting to emerge primarily due to three recent developments:
- Newer aircraft are made primarily of composite materials instead of aluminum alloys; this makes for more invasive damage and expensive repairs with longer return to service cycles.
- After COVID, the industry is experiencing higher turnover rates in ground personnel which makes the ramp fertile ground for mishaps.
- The Ultra Low Cost Carrier (ULCC) phenomenon is putting pressure on the industry to lower costs and operate with higher efficiencies, which often translates to thin margins for ground service providers and fewer safety nets.
Synaptic Aviation AI’s real-time alerts can help to reduce potential damages effectively by warning about imminent danger, changing people’s behavior from repeated alerts, and by highlighting trends that can lead to accidents. A quick example is our ability to interact with the ground crews via the A-VDGS (Advanced Visual Docking Guidance System) and use the information display to stop a docking if a high-risk situation is detected. Synaptic Aviation’s alerts are delivered swiftly, avoiding potential collisions, reducing the likelihood of costly property damages, and fostering a culture of compliance.
Encourage Behavioral Change to Avoid Injury
Airport aprons pose a risk not only to aircraft but also to airport employees. Workers face risks of falling or being struck by moving objects due to the constant traffic of vehicles and equipment on the apron.
Synaptic Aviation AI’s real-time alerts can help promote staff behavior change, lessening the potential for injury on airport aprons. To help operators avoid potential dangers, the AI provides real-time data about where and how often vehicles and other pieces of equipment are being moved at the present time. The technology also allows for better training by providing stakeholders with a visual record of incidents so ground crew can learn from mistakes.
Synaptic Aviation’s goal with the technology is to also partner with ground service providers and help them to win by creating a culture of safety by providing tools with immediate feedback about risky situations and alerts that are relevant and timely. This has the potential to improve the morale of airport workers and foster a safer, more pleasant atmosphere in the workplace.
Help Your Bottom Line
Since our Synaptic Aviation AI elevates safety and decreases the likelihood of property damage and personal injury, it also helps airports increase their bottom line. Airports save time and money by increasing efficiency and optimizing operations, ultimately boosting their bottom line.
By providing real-time updates about the movements of aircraft, service vehicles and ground personnel, Synaptic Aviation’s AI can help to optimize ground servicing, providing a new level of operational awareness while helping stake holders to get a new understanding of what is impacting operational performance so that each team can focus on solving the “right” problem.
Airports and airlines can increase their bottom line by reducing the likelihood of collisions and other incidents on the apron, which in turn reduces the need for expensive repairs and maintenance.
Get Clear Visuals for Better Accountability
Finally, Synaptic Aviation AI’s real-time alerts can boost airport apron accountability as well. Operators can be held more responsible for their actions when they have a clear picture of where their vehicles and equipment have been and where they are going.
The Synaptic Aviation system is a “Ground Data Recorder.” Its real-time alerts can also serve as a valuable record of apron activity, allowing operators to look back on the information and analyze it for improvement opportunities. Opportunities to optimize operations and increase efficiency can be found here, as can threats that need to be dealt with.
A culture of safety can be promoted on airport aprons with the help of real-time alerts from Synaptic Aviation AI. The health of employees, the standing of the airport, and the aviation industry as a whole can all benefit from this.
Synaptic Aviation AI’s real-time alerts are crucial to maintaining order on airport aprons. Its ability to track aircraft and other vehicles in real-time has the potential to reduce the likelihood of accidents, optimize operations, increase accountability, and spread a culture of safety and compliance.
Complex and ever-changing, airport aprons are home to a wide variety of vehicles, pieces of machinery, and people. Without adequate risk management, the movement of such entities can introduce potentially disastrous hazards. Synaptic Aviation AI’s real-time alerts are a powerful resource for mitigating these threats, empowering operators to make educated decisions and take preventative action.
Enhanced safety measures and individual responsibility will become increasingly important as the aviation industry develops and expands. With Synaptic Aviation’s technology, airports can boost safety, cut costs, and increase efficiency, all of which contribute to a long-term, financially rewarding aviation industry.
Get in touch with us today to find out more about Synaptic Aviation AI and how we can assist you in maintaining a safe environment on airport aprons and fostering a culture of safety in the aviation industry.