The Connected Airport



One of the most critical aspects for an airport is guaranteeing the safety of its passengers. The airport is a rare ecosystem where so many players need to work closely together to deliver an on-time experience in the safest manner possible.

From the moment a plane lands, the pilot needs to understand where s/he will park and follow the shortest and safest route to the unoccupied gate. Ground handlers need to be on standby so that passengers can disembark fast. Catering, cleaning, fueling and baggage handling contractors/employees must do their job within the given time frame so that the plane can be prepared for its next flight.

A complex mix of actions, but if done well, every person working at the airport and the passengers stand to benefit substantially. However, achieving synergy in operations is often easier said than done. Each stakeholder is often locked in his/her own silo with individual objectives and KPIs – from the Air Traffic Controller (ATC) whose main responsibility is towards Civil Aviation authorities, the ground handler who has an agreement with the airport management, to the airline, each one tends to function independently.

This is where – as in every ecosystem – a common set of goals should be in place to have a clear impact on safety, security, seamless processes, and passenger experience. When all stakeholders are united around one vision only then can things change and overriding KPIs be delivered.

Since the airfield needs to go through routine refurbishment and maintenance work, there are times it is inaccessible. We see a clear role for a system that indicates the availability of runways, taxiways, and aprons at any time of the day in real-time and up to one week ahead of time.

In a connected airport setup, all Airfield Ground Lighting is automated, where lights and systems proactively indicate what maintenance is needed so that operational downtime is limited. Maintenance schedules are integrated so traffic controllers have a good view at all times on when and which runways and taxiways are available. With the integration of apron management systems, this view can be extended to cover all apron operations at the airport.

The significance of the airfield in creating one unique view

OCEM Airfield is working on creating a connected airport, where all IT and operational processes and systems are interconnected to enable one unique view. For OCEM it’s clear that the airfield takes center stage in this approach.

Once the plane has landed – the time from disembarkment till it departs again is the biggest potential for efficiency gains. The airfield is critical as it can contribute significantly to decrease the duration a plane takes to travel to the gate.

OCEM Airfield – Leading the way with open standard Airfield Ground Lighting systems

As a leading provider of open standard Airfield Ground Lighting systems, OCEM Airfield sees for itself a key role in this field where – in collaboration with the different experts – it creates the right solutions and services to allow for a connected airport approach.

One system that integrates all solutions and creates that unique view of Airport Operations. Together with other leaders in the field, we are convinced that the way to a more satisfying passenger experience and an increase in operational availability lies in making sure key players work together in realizing the connected airport. One Airport Operational Ecosystem with clear rules and open protocols that allow for easy interfacing – with efficiency and sustainability besides aviation safety and security as the ultimate goal – is the way forward.

If the will is there, the solution can be made available soon. If all stakeholders speak the same language a new era in aviation progress can be achieved in the coming years. We are ready; we are creating the ecosystem to allow for a unique Connected Airport view that re-unites all airport stakeholders to make airport operations safer, better, more transparent, and sustainable.

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