Smart Communication Solutions Ensure Planes Take Off On Time
A fully staffed airplane crew is vital for timely take offs, but staffing on the ground is just as important! Ground Handling staff take care of everything that happens at the airport; from check-in to boarding, to making sure baggage is loaded onto the right plane. With effective, smart communication solutions, Ground Handling companies can save both time and money, and improve customer satisfaction.
Airports are in a constant flux, and that affects airport staff at least as much as it affects passengers! With so much going on, a lot of unexpected things can happen before departure. Many pieces need to fall into place for airplanes take off on time, and the ground handling work is just as important as the work done on the plane. Before take off, airline and airport staff need to check in passengers, handle baggage, board passengers and refuel planes. Rather than handling all this themselves, airlines often utilize external ground handling companies. When one company handles ground handling for several airlines and many departures, communication is incredibly important, so that different functions can work together smoothly and without error.
“An airport is a place of work that operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. There are always planes taking off and landing, and passengers checking in, going through security, and making their way to the right gate. When you think about the enormous turnaround of people going through airports every day, it’s obvious that ground handling companies need well-functioning communication systems and plans in place. Any minor mistake, delay or unexpected occurrence can have big consequences. That’s why it’s essential that companies can get the right information to the right people at the right time,” says Malin Palmgren, KAM at LEKAB Communication Systems.
Passengers’ First Impression
Ground handling staff are usually the first to meet passengers when they arrive at the airport. This means they’re responsible for making sure that things work smoothly and quickly from the moment passengers arrive. Passengers are also customers, and customer satisfaction is based largely on how well an airport’s ground handling functions.
“Passengers expect everything at the airport to work smoothly. They expect set routines and processes that help them find their way around, and make their travel as smooth as possible. As travellers, we rarely see all the work that goes on behind the scenes, we just expect to get the right gate information, that our bags end up on the right plane, etc. On the other hand, we notice immediately when things go wrong. Errors and poor planning can lead to things like long lines, lost baggage, or incorrect/out-of-date information getting passed to passengers. Communication among staff on the ground is therefore extremely important. That is what ensures that planes take off smoothly and on time,” says Malin Palmgren.
Poor Internal Communication = Expensive Fines
Poor internal communication can mean inefficiency in ground handling processes. In turn, this inefficiency often leads to wasted time and flight delays. Depending on where you are and how long the delay is, missing a time slot for take-off – whether due to long check-in lines, late boarding, or some other delay – can result in stiff fines. Sometimes airlines have to pay fines to both passengers AND to the local government. Many of these charges can be avoided, however, with well-functioning ground handling communication systems.
Fast and Reliable Communication – A Must for Ground Handling
To handle unexpected occurrences at an airport, different departments and individuals need to be able to communicate quickly and reliably.
”Because there are so many people at an airport at any given time, security is incredibly important. When an alarm is sent out, the right staff need to be quickly notified, and pre-set routines set in action. To simplify this, ground handling needs fast, reliable, and effective communication systems, that don’t draw unnecessary attention from nearby passengers. This is vital for both non-emergency issues, such as assisting passengers who need wheelchairs, and acute issues such as a potential threat or fire,” according to Malin Palmgren.
With a smart communication system that’s easy to use, relevant parties can be quickly notified and contacted when the unexpected happens. This increases the capacity for solving issues efficiently, and making sure planes take off when they are supposed to.