Case

Gate Automation Platform

Reducing cost and improving user experience, in collaboration with Avinor

Avinor chose to work together with Objective because they were acquainted with the software that Objective provide since earlier and have had great experiences regarding lead times for development and costs. Objective is able to adapt the very efficient Scandinavian work process and you develop the solution collaboratively, which is something Avinor is very pleased with.

Automation and system integration

The Gate Automation Platform (GAP) is a product that enables ground handlers and airports to save cost and increase quality for the passengers by mobilizing their staff out on the floor. The main idea for the GAP product is to gather all systems needed in the boarding process in one application. We have made integrations against a large amount of systems, including FIDS, GIDS, Ticket validation, eGates, AODB, BRS systems, Amadeus, Flightradar24, Airline DCS, SITA WorldTracer, Airport PA system among others. The goal for the project was that the gate agent should be able to manage the boarding process with just a few taps on an Ipad, which we succeeded with. The GAP project focused on how ground handling processes could be combined, and used in a completely different way in order to increase efficiency and passenger satisfaction. Avinor has always a great desire to improve their processes, particularly processes regarding turnaround management and elimination of minor delays. The GAP product was developed with the mindset that every part of the boarding process could be managed from a remote location that not necessarily was the same airport as where the boarding itself would take place. Objective has proven that it is possible to manage a boarding from a completely different place.

Basically, we can sit in Oslo and manage a flight from Kristiansand, and the other way around, if we wish.
Simen Simonsen
Technology Strategist, Avinor Corporate IT

The GAP product

When we developed the GAP product one of the goals was to create a product that needed minimal training of the staff since staff training is very costly for ground handling companies. Avinor rely on on- the-job training and train-the-trainer principles. Ground handlers see that the staff here in Bergen really only need one test flight departure before they simply can say that they are able to handle the system.

On time performance is very important for Avinor, because that directly affects the ranking of their airports. The unique thing about the GAP project in terms of on-time performance, is that you combine all the processes that a gate agent should go through. The staff don’t rush any steps because the GAP product has the major advantage of all steps being both automated and presented in a reasonable order. The product is constructed in order to be intuitive for the gate agent to handle all tasks in connection with a departure and with access to all systems needed in one place. Airlines gain a lot on automation and mobility in order to streamline and make the whole boarding process simpler and easier for their ground handlers and passengers.

Boarding & Flight Information

When selecting a flight the user is presented by the Flight Overview screen. The Flight Information component displays information related to the flight itself. It also shows summary figures from external systems such as Amadeus, ReDok, and the Avinor BRS system. Flight data is continuously fetched in the background so that the information displayed is the latest available.

The GAP system allows for prerecorded boarding announcements. This reduces the workload for the gate agents and increases the quality of the messages. Avinor wanted to personalize the boarding process and give it a more local feeling. By making announcements in a local dialect or in the dialect of the flight destination, a special ambiance can be created that a computerized voice could never provide. The process is performed automatically with just a few clicks of the app. This reduces risks for human errors and increases quality. The system is fully compliant with the official boarding process used by Star Alliance. With this in mind the ground handler can relax and don’t need to worry during unannounced reviews by the airline customer or Star Alliance.

The greatest technical challenge we had in the GAP project was the flight terminal announcements, where we developed a new state-of-the-art technique in order to be able to send IP based sounds to old analogue PA systems. Now we have the possibility to manage priority boarding which is becoming more and more important to the airlines. The system also have functionality for zone boarding, where you divide the boarding process in to groups in order to get the most efficient boarding process possible. For all this we have a statistics module that help us to fine tune the processes. This put together gives the system owner a very good picture of any potential bottlenecks and what can be improved in the future. The system is flexible when it comes to expanding the solution to include several airlines. Objective has developed an internal configuration module which the customer can use to configure new airlines without having to update the source code at all.

The result

The GAP product has contributed to increased punctuality due to the fact that the gate agent doesn’t need to stand behind a counter anymore. Everything can be solved on the iPad and the mobility saves a lot of time. During a normal departure the gate agent often needs to walk several times between the gate and the aircraft. With the GAP this is not necessary any more. The gate agent can manage their tasks were it is most convenient for them to be. Through the GAP product we have made it possible for all players to have access to the same information, so that the gate agent can be the hub of the information process. Through a simple glance at the GAP system we can see that both the passenger and their luggage are onboard.

Many tasks are already prepared by the GAP system, which means we won’t have to redo them in last minute and can instead just start the boarding. Many of the staff enjoy the fact that the boarding announcements are pre-recorded and easy to manage. We will always save time with the GAP system.
Harald Morten Johnsen
Station Manager, Widerøe Ground Handling

The greatest technical challenge we had in the GAP project was the flight terminal announcements, where we developed a new state-of-the-art technique in order to be able to send IP based sounds to old analogue PA systems. Now we have the possibility to manage priority boarding which is becoming more and more important to the airlines. The system also have functionality for zone boarding, where you divide the boarding process in to groups in order to get the most efficient boarding process possible. For all this we have a statistics module that help us to fine tune the processes. This put together gives the system owner a very good picture of where the bottleneck is and what can be improved in the future. The system is flexible when it comes to expanding the solution to include several airlines. Objective has developed an internal configuration module which the customer can use to configure new airlines without having to update the source code at all.

With the GAP product Objective have solved the issue of completing the boarding process with just one click
Harald Morten Johnsen
Station Manager, Widerøe Ground Handling
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