Airport Operational Systems


Airport Operational Systems


Airport operators the world over aim at providing a safe, secure and efficient operational environment that is driven improved productivity and reduced cost, but with fewer resources. Airport operators want the capability to detect and respond to threats more quickly in order to mitigate risk.

Therefore, airport operators are automating airport operating and building management controls systems to manage the airport practically and efficiently. Airport operators are automating airport operating and building management control systems to manage the airport practically and efficiently. Airport operational systems provide a single common solution for most favourable monitoring and controlling procedures.

Integrated Airline Operations

Automated Airport Operating and Management

Managing various functions as a single integrated system is the real challenge involved in automated Airport Operating and Management. Proactive management of the airport occurs when automated airport operating and automated building management control systems are brought together.

This aids in binding all the key elements involved in good airport operations such as airplanes, people, processes, facilities, equipment, documentation, and regulatory compliance, thereby providing a single common solution for optimal monitoring and control. A data management engine delivers an enterprise-wide view.

This is achieved by integrating operations with the followings:

  • Building
  • Security and life safety management
  • Business systems

If integrate all the different applications into a single , streamlined system with a common set of procedures and point of control. This is in turn, limits the airport operators ability to make the facility function in totality. It also makes it nearly impossible to implement proactive strategies that address business issues.

Integration of Airport Systems from the Perspective of Airport Operator

            As the demand for air transport grows with competition, it makes better sense to invest in an integrated approach to operating the airports as a single process. The main objective of integrations is to achieve coherent real-time operation between airport systems, in order to improve airport-wide management.

More than a hundred systems can be integrated together including:

  • Safety measures
  • Security issues
  • Airfield ground lighting
  • Aircraft video docking
  • Heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC)
  • Energy management systems
  • Meteorological systems
  • People movers(lifts, escalators)
  • Access controls
  • Closed circuit television (CCTV) and digital video management
  • Fire detection
  • Voice / data systems
  • Large format video screens

Integration of Airport Systems from the Perspective of Airline Operator

From the perspective of airline operator, the integration of the systems of the airline operators with the systems set up by the airport operator is an important step in improving management and operations across the airport. Airline operators and airport operator must make continuous efforts to maintain a world class passenger / cargo transit experience, under the guidance and supervision of the regulatory authorities. The ancillary services provided at the airport also play an important role in the whole gamut of activities.

Airline Representation

The tasks assigned to the airlines can be broadly categorized into the following:

  • Contract negotiation and administration
  • Supervision and evaluation of contract compliance
  • Inventory management
  • Financial responsibility

Let us take a look at them in detail.

Contract negotiation and Administration

Negotiations need to be held and a contract has to be drawn in order to provide essential aviation services. Negotiations must be held not only with other airlines but with the airport operators, lessors and financiers national administration, regulatory authorities and ground handling agencies.

Contract negotiations and administration includes the following:

  • Airport use agreements
    • Ticket Counters
    • Common use facilities and services
    • Gate and jet-way use
    • Incentives and fee waivers
  • Bulk purchase programs
    • Passenger services
    • Catering supplies
    • Bag tags
    • Ramp services
    • Into-plane fueling
  • Bundled services
  • Outsourcing above and below wing services

Contract Compliance

The multi-lateral and bi-lateral contracts that are drawn and executed need to be meticulously followed and terms and conditions honored, so that there are compliances.

Contract compliance includes the following:

  1. Station Manuals
  • Preparation and maintenance of Stations Operations Manuals implementing customer standards and requirements
  • Training of all airport contract personnel
  1. Performance Standards and daily monitoring
    • Ground handlers
    • Passenger services
  1. Quality control
  • Periodic check rides to verify performance of vendors
  1. Finance compliance
    • Auditing of services and invoices
    • Budgetary controls

Inventory Management

Inventory management is an important aspect that the airlines need to constantly monitor, since the inventory stacked as back-up is more than that required. This could result into huge capital obstruction and can lead to operational losses, if not adequately taken care of.

Inventory Management includes the following:

Inventory Control, budgeting, purchasing and warehousing:

  • Airline spare parts
  • Boarding passes
  • Bag tags
  • Lost and damaged baggage claim forms
  • Catering and toiletry supplies
  • Alcoholic beverage controlled storage
  • Cabin supplies
  • In-flight magazines and related items
  • Portable equipment (laptops,printers,etc.,)


Financial Responsibility

Financial Responsibility include the following:

  • Pre-payments and deposits
    • Budget and cash flow forecasting
  • Reconciliation of vendor invoices
    • Audit and verify ramp services invoice per flight
    • Audit and verify fuel uplifts and into-plane fees
    • Verify catering costs and services per emplaned passenger
    • Customer financial reporting for operational management decisions and fiscal planning
    • Auditing of passenger fees, airport fees, and taxes.
  • Escrow accounting services
  • Accounting reconciliation by flight

Passenger Services

Passenger services include the following:

  • Airline branding and visibility
  • Airport staffing
  • Delay amenities
  • International flights
  • Catering
  • Customer service

Let us take a look at them in detail.

Airline Branding & Visibility

Airline Branding & Visibility includes the following:

  • Airport signage
    • Arrival directional signage
    • Ticket counter
    • Gate
  • Airline attire for contract employees
    • Provide attire with airline logo or other identification
  • Flight Information Data System (FIDS)
  • Provide graphics for flight information date system for airport operations

Airport Staffing

Airport staffing includes the following:

  • Passenger check in / ticket counter
    • Reservation system compatible equipment
    • Boarding passes
    • Baggage tags and excess baggage collections
    • Manifest reconciliation (Show, No-Show, Go-Show)
    • Upgrade sales and add-collects as required
    • Operator-participant agreement compliance (charter requirement)
  • Gate personnel
    • Boarding procedures and announcements
    • Passenger manifest reporting

Co ordination

Coordination in passenger services includes the following:

  • Delay amenities
    • Policy and procedure implementation
  • Meal vouchers
  • Hotel transfer vouchers
  • Shuttle buses
  • Re-accommodation on other airlines
  • International flights
    • International departure / arrival procedures
    • Security compliance.


Catering includes the following:

  • Catering
    • Budget and cost of goods by flight
    • Menu and vendor selection
    • Supplies and inventory control
    • Snacks and meals
    • Beverages
    • Alcohol sales
    • Flight by flight reconciliation
      • Arrange for crew meals as required
      • USDA regulatory conformance for international flights.

Customer Service

Customer service includes the following:

  • Baggage service
    • Customer care for lost and damaged bag claims via toll free number and email
    • Co ordination and delivery of misplaced bags
  • Reservations
    • On-line(web bookings)
    • Call center operations
    • Software customized to customer requirements for yield, loads, manifest,
    • accounting and management

Ground Services

Ground service includes the following:

  • Airport ramp services
  • Baggage
  • Push back and towing
  • Ground support equipment
  • Into-plane fuelling
  • De-icing
  • Cleaning
  • International flights

Aircraft Ramp Services

Aircraft Ramp services include the following:

  • Baggage
    • Loading and unloading of baggage into or from the aircraft
    • Baggage handling and transfers
    • Assistance in weight and balance issue
  • Aircraft push back and towing
    • Tugs and tow bars for customer aircraft
    • Aircraft marshalling
    • Aircraft parking: hard stand and ROM
  • Ground support equipment
    • Air conditioning
    • Air-start
    • Ground power unit (GPU)
  • Into-plane fuelling
    • Fuel release co ordination
    • Tracking / auditing of-uplift receipts
    • Price monitoring for competitive cost
  • De-icing
  • Cleaning
    • Cabin cleaning
    • Lavatory servicing
  • International flights
    • Arrival / departure gates
    • Waste management

Flight Operations

Flight operations include the following:

  • Flight tracking
  • Communications
  • Support Services
  • Load Control

Flight Tracking

Flight tracking includes the following:

  • Customer aircraft
    • Monitor all customer aircraft by satellite and station reporting to determine down line decisions delay tactics and sub-service if needed.
  • Related aircraft
    • Monitor aircraft of other airlines who are on the “call list” for sub-service to determine best options quickly in the event of a mechanical failure.



Communications include the following:

  • Airline and station messaging
    • Establish procedures via SITA ,e-mail ,fax ,phone and radio
  • Regulatory agency reporting
    • APIS
    • Passenger manifest
  • Schedules
    • Issue airline operational schedule to ground handlers, passenger services contractor and airport officials.

Support Services

Support services include the following:

  • Landing Rights
    • Arrange and co ordinate international landing rights and approvals from foreign governmental agencies, US customs, US Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Immigration and Naturalization Services (INS), US Customs.
  • Route Planning
    • Assist airline dispatch with the most cost effective options considering crews, fuel, customs, etc.,
  • Crew Service
    • Crew accommodations and airport transportation.
  • Load Control
  • Load Control includes the following:
    • Weight and Balance
      • Participate in and / or make decisions regarding weight and balance issues on flights
      • Arrange for transport and delivery of any passenger baggage removed due to operational reasons.


  • Integrated Airline Operations
  • Integrated of Airport Systems
  • Airline Representation
  • Ground Services
  • Flight Operations