Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


INTERACTION Report Summary

Project ID: 605454
Funded under: FP7-TRANSPORT
Country: Spain

Final Report Summary - INTERACTION (INnovative TEchnologies and Researches for a new Airport Concept towards Turnaround coordinatION)

Executive Summary:
INTERACTION (INnovative TEchnologies and Researches for a new Airport Concept towards Turnaround coordinatION) is a Research & Development (R&D) project co-funded by the EC through the FP7 aiming to improve turnaround processes time- and cost-efficiently, airport environmentally friendliness and processes coordination. The consortium is composed of ALG, Indra, Aegean Airlines, Airbus, Athens International Airport (AIA), Aviapartner, Ineco, PildoLabs, Thyssenkrupp Elevator Innovation Center, TLD and Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona.
INTERACTION started evaluating the current turnaround processes, roles and activities of each process and overall coordination and interrelations among them, including information management tools used. The main conclusion was that current turnaround is composed of several uncoordinated processes that have strong temporal and physical interrelations that lead to inefficient management of time and resources. Current lack of information sharing and individual activity-centered optimization lead to overall non-optimum operations.
Considering the above starting point, INTERACTION envisaged turnaround as a whole integrated process with common situation awareness and collaborative decision making. To solve those issues and the points of improvement detected in each individual process INTERACTION developed 20 solutions grouped in 5 lines of action: passenger & baggage process, freight process, ramp operations, green concepts and information management. The solutions developed came out of different design thinking workshops were many more ideas were identified. Ideas are developed at different maturity levels, from more disrupting ideas that stay at a conceptual level to state-of-the-art technology prototypes developed and tested in real operations.
The passenger and baggage process line of action aims to improve passenger experience while reducing turnaround time, increasing punctuality and predictability. The concept of unifying passenger and baggage process was explored and the implementation of high-speed moving walks was studied to improve passenger experience. A slot assignment for passenger screening process was developed to balance capacity with demand and tested in real-live in AIA, resulting in good passenger acceptability. A causal boarding model was also developed as a decision support tool to obtain a hint about which boarding strategies could provide the best total boarding time for each particular mix of passengers. To improve turnaround time-efficiency gates were redesigned to consider standard gates for medium haul narrow body aircraft families and also rear-door boarding bridges over the wing for narrow body aircraft, reducing docking time and (de)boarding times for both designs.
The freight process was tackled aiming at improving its time-efficiency and fostering air cargo transportation in scheduled passenger flights at European level. Two solutions were developed to increase information management and planning of resources which are the cargo portal, dealing with information sharing on real time and ULD management system which supports an optimum planning of ULD. To enhance real time shipments supervision, the track & trace smart labels was design implementing RFID infrastructure at the airport and on-board, which was validated on a real exercise in Germany providing positive outcomes.
Ideas on ramp operations were focused on improving fleet, mobile vehicles and equipment management, on the one hand rationalizing the number of GSE at the ramp and improving therefore safety by the implementation of pooling of equipment and/or the centralisation of services and on the other hand automating the docking of Passenger Boarding Brides and cargo loaders which improved safety and predictability. Finally, aircraft-GSE and aircraft-airport communication was developed and validated.
Solutions in the green concept line work towards environmentally friendly airport operations. To that aim, electrical towing vehicles were design and different charging stations scenarios were studied to tackle full electrical GSE fleet. Algorithms were designed to predict potable on-board water usage so that its loading can be done more fuel-efficiently. Finally in this line, the powering of aircraft navigation lights through towbarless tractors was validated with positive results of fuel saving.
Information management tackled on the one hand the improved prediction of landing times using ADS-B data and on the other hand the enhancement of information sharing fostering the extension of collaboration decision making to turnaround, through the development of an information and decision support platform integrating information from the different processes. Validations on real operations environment in Athens International Airport were conducted providing good results in terms of improvement of predictability and punctuality as well as good acceptability from stakeholders.
Finally, a business case and cost-benefit analysis of all solutions was developed detecting the most promising improvements of each solution as well as the scenario in which its potential is maximized. The main impact of the overall project is the improvement of turnaround predictability and punctuality and the reduction of the environmental impact of airport operations.

Project Context and Objectives:
INnovative TEchnologies and Researches for a new Airport Concept towards Turnaround coordinatION-INTERACTION project proposes an evolution in airport operations towards a fully integrated and coordinated management of all the processes - passenger, baggage, freight and ramp operations – which are converging into the aircraft turnaround. Three main needs are behind INTERACTION initiative:
• to increase time efficiency for each of the airport processes while ensuring full coordination, with as consequence, a shorter, more efficient aircraft turnaround;
• to reduce the environmental impact of the different turnaround activities;
• and to enhance the predictability of the turnaround operation and its associated processes.
The aircraft turnaround is the core process in the airport that drives the operation of all of the other processes: passengers, baggage, freight, ramp operations. The aircraft turnaround needs to be executed on-time complying with the planned schedule by ensuring that the targeted payload (passenger, baggage and freight) has been completely embarked and loaded into the aircraft. Aircraft turnarounds imply complex procedures and delays can be extremely costly for airlines. A number of ground operations and processes have to be performed, some in sequence, some in parallel, to service the aircraft. For this reason, an improved operational punctuality could lead to cost savings and improved customer service. The application of a set of streamlined turnaround processes could reduce the impact of any unforeseen disturbances.
Currently, the turnaround operation is a set of separately managed, different processes taking place in the same airport environment: passengers, baggage, freight and ramp operations. This approach normally leads to independent process strategies and objectives, which in some cases may also be uncoordinated causing negative impacts and inefficiencies. Furthermore, each stakeholder has different priorities when carrying out their activities which end up with a decrease of total efficiency of the process due to the great amount of services to be accomplished. For example, a non-coordinated freight loading process could introduce a delay in the aircraft turnaround and impact negatively on the performance of other processes, like for example the passenger and baggage process. In a future concept for airport operations, fully integration and coordination of processes would be required. Landside processes, freight processes and GSE (Ground Servicing Equipment) ramp operations will need to be managed so that there is coordination between them all and also with the airport core process, which is the aircraft turnaround. All of these processes need to be planned and executed in order to converge into the turnaround process and comply with the turnaround planning itself. The defined milestones in the turnaround process have to be used to define each process plan and its own associated milestones.
The turnaround process implies several services to the aircraft provided by different agents. All actors involved (handling agents, airline, airport...) have their own priorities, for example, one may prefer to execute one service increasing time efficiency while the other would like this service to be accomplished focusing on cost efficiency. In order to avoid conflicts due to these differences, an increase of information exchange and a clear and unique chain of command accepted by all actors involved is needed.
In today’s operations, interactions among processes are not clearly identified and sometimes some processes are treated in an isolated manner from the rest in terms of logistics and information sharing. A clear example is the freight process. Airport operations need to evolve in terms of enhancing the predictability and the control of the interactions among processes that are likely to happen in the overall turnaround operation. These interactions could be primary or secondary in terms of the impact they may have on other processes and/or on the turnaround operation. Process performance indicators and associated targets and milestones should be defined (or even redefined) in a coordinated way in order to take into account the identified interactions and the impact on the overall performance indicators and targets of the turnaround process.
Nowadays, the growing concerns regarding environmental issues make it important to analyse the environmental effect of the turnaround process. Over the last few years, concerns about water savings and waste recycling have increased considerably and the majority of GSEs used have not changed significantly. Summing to that the fact that traffic in apron areas is currently higher than necessary due to the little information sharing and the separately management of the turnaround operations, there is a patent need to develop new solutions aimed at diminishing the current level of emissions at the apron, enhance the loading of potable water to the aircraft and the treatment of recyclables.
INTERACTION will define real time performance indicators to be shared by all actors involved in the turnaround process. INTERACTION will allow monitoring by all airport stakeholders - airport operator, handling agents and airlines - and facilitate prioritizing, paying special attention to quality of service demanded by the users: passengers and cargo forwarders. Additionally, the current lack of coordination between the different processes prevents the adaptation, at operational level, of planned operations. The effect of perturbations somewhere in the chain of directly or indirectly coupled activities can therefore not be minimised, resulting in inefficiencies in the turnaround process. INTERACTION will develop a deep knowledge of the causal interaction between infrastructure and operations. This knowledge will be at the core of new collaborative policies to minimize delay propagation with the objective of achieving a win-win situation for all the users: airport operator, airlines, handling agent and passengers.
New airport management tools will be required to ensure coordination of the new procedures and to support the airport in making the right decisions to optimise operations, by taking advantage of current flexible infrastructure to mitigate the propagation of perturbations through the different processes. It should be noted that flexibility means choice, so by increasing flexibility, not only are the number of decision variables and their domain increased, but also the cause-effect time relationships are impacted as well, which complicates the decision-making activities. The difference between obtaining benefits and producing unwanted impacts might depend on the decision-making activity itself. INTERACTION will specify all the process interactions by means of a causal model and will be supported by an innovative causal analysis tool solution to optimize KPI’s while mitigating undesirable emergent dynamics.
Summarising, the INTERACTION concept proposes a new paradigm by looking at the aircraft turnaround as an integrated management of all processes. For this purpose, the project will provide new concepts that will complement the existing airside approaches by integration of other processes like landside and freight operations. INTERACTION developments will be built up from current and expected outcome of other European projects and related initiatives. An initial list of these activities, providing the INTERACTION baseline, includes projects like SESAR, TITAN, ASSET, AAS, E-CAB and TASS, and other initiatives headed by International Air Transport associations like ACI, ASA, IATA, TIACA, EIA and others.
The INTERACTION project aims to propose new procedures, technologies and tools for enhancing time efficient and environmentally friendly turnaround operations in the airport. INTERACTION will provide and validate a new concept of operations for the turnaround. INTERACTION intends to enhance the involved processes by looking for individual improvements in each separately, as well as a coordinated way with common goals: to minimise the global turnaround time and to reduce the effects of perturbations that can appear in any of the airport sub processes during the turnaround process.
The main objectives of the project can be grouped in two areas:
• To propose and validate new procedures and technologies in order to enhance the time efficiency of each of the airport processes and make them more environmentally friendly - passengers, baggage, freight, ramp operations - and in addition, and as a direct consequence, in the turnaround process of the aircraft.
• To propose and validate a new concept for a coordinated management of the airport processes based on innovative tools:
• Enhanced and extended platform for the storage and management of the airport information, including monitoring of all data generated by all processes, and creation of new bidirectional information flows in the airport, for example passenger-airport, passenger-airline;
• Extended tool for supporting integrated decision making in order to plan and execute all airport processes in a coordinated way, identifying inter-processes perturbation in advance, and proposing the right actions to comply with the planned turnaround milestones and performance targets.
All of the solutions proposed by the INTERACTION concept will potentiate the increase of safety levels and the reduction of the environmental impact of the turnaround operations. They will be defined, designed, developed and validated as part of the results of the project. Each of the solutions may require different methods and techniques for its design and development. The INTERACTION innovative tools will be developed into prototypes, following the normal process of specification, prototyping and verification. The validation activities will be also adapted to the nature of the proposed solutions. The best-for-purpose technique will be applied for validation of each solution. As an example, some of the methods considered are: expert groups, gaming sessions, analytical modelling, FTS (Fast Time Simulation), real environment in shadow mode, etc.
This sequence of activities regarding future needs and challenges in the airport operations will be structured by INTERACTION into a list of 13 innovation areas grouped in 5 main knowledge groups: airport terminal operations, freight operations, ramp operations, green concepts and new tools developments. The solutions proposed are the result of a preliminary analysis taking into consideration the ideas and opinions of the experts within the consortium. Operational partners defined the needs for improvement within their respective line of actions and together with the industrial partners developed a first idea of the most feasible and efficient solution to solve the issue.
Airport terminal operations: “Advanced concepts and techniques for time efficient passenger and baggage processes”
The main challenges are centred on increasing the time efficiency flow of passengers and baggage in the terminal area and providing users and airlines with the real-time information and resources required to respectively experience and perform processes in a comfortable and controlled way.
• New and radical concepts for passenger + baggage flow at the airport.
• New passenger boarding/deplaning concepts and re-design of airport gates.
Air freight operations: “Advanced concepts and techniques for time efficient freight operations”
This part will study and propose enhancements in the time efficient freight operations field, including comprehensive planning of airport operations. The study will focus on the expected evolution in the cargo industry, to predict trends and analyse potential improvements.
• New and radical concepts for freight flow at the airport.
• Evolution in ULDs (Unit Load Devices).
Ramp operations: “Advanced concepts and techniques for fleet, mobile vehicles and equipment management at the apron area”
This knowledge group will focus on improving the fleet management concepts and techniques in the operations of Ground Support Equipment (GSE), with the objective of speeding up the turnaround at the apron area and increasing safety levels. This analysis will pay special attention in integrating cargo handling operations with the rest of ramp operations in order to increase the use of commercial passenger single aisle aircraft to transport cargo. This is expected to provide an efficient answer to the industrial supply chain requirements of fast, reliable, safe and low cost transport of goods in Europe. Two main innovation areas are proposed:
• Rationalization of the required number of vehicles on the apron.
• Towards full automation in GSE operations at the airport.
Green concepts: “Green concepts and techniques for apron operations”
This group will complement the above mentioned areas by providing new concepts and technologies to reduce greenhouse gas, pollutant and noise emissions for apron operations as well as save potable water and improve the recycling process of waste (which will reduce aircraft weight and therefore fuel burn and CO2 emissions). Three areas of innovation are proposed:
• Fully electrical equipment.
• Optimization of potable water loaded in aircraft.
• Innovative Concepts for aircraft cabin waste unloading/ treatment/ recycling.
New tools developments: “Definition of a new extended information management platform and decision support tools”
The fifth knowledge group from INTERACTION will implement the new concept of integrating the proposals of the other four groups into new tool solutions capable of planning and managing the different turnaround processes in a coordinated way and of providing support in the decision making throughout the different planning and execution phases. The concept behind the extended tools will be based on the following four areas:
• Integration of the information flows between all processes and actors.
• New performance indicators for processes and resources considering cross relations.
• Decision making principles for an integrated management.
• Enhanced real time communication between passenger and airport.

Project Results:
INTERACTION project started with the study of current airport ground operations, generating a detailed description of the different activities and chain of command of passenger, baggage and freight processes as well as ramp operations. This description was conducted in the form of process diagrams as well as textual description. The study also included the assessment of interrelations among activities and processes both temporal and physical and the impact that these relations have (e.g. whether a delay in one activity means a delay in other activities). All in all, the turn-round process was modelled as a whole using Coloured petri-nets methodology and the turn-round critical path studied. Finally, the initial assessment also included a study of the current information management systems and decision support tools of all stakeholders involved. The results obtained in this phase of the project received very good feedback from the Advisory Board members.
After that first step, the processes were studied individually and also the turn-round as a whole in order to identify inefficiencies and points of improvement. Afterwards, the design thinking sessions conducted with the project consortium ended up with a set of ideas to improve the different processes and the turn-round as a whole including the coordination among stakeholders and the information sharing process. Once a selection of the most promising solutions within the ones that the consortium could further develop was conducted each partner or group of partners started the development of the solutions. Here below a description of the scientific and technical results obtained by each partner is included.
The main result obtained from INTERACTION is the integration of the information on the different airport processes within the same system, which has allowed to analyse the evolution of each process by itself and to predict the impact of on disruptions on one process on the overall turnaround process. This information can then be presented to all stakeholders, informing them on the current status of each process within the turn-round and providing them support on how to solve any issue and take decisions in a collaborative way.
All the above, has been possible thanks to the development and integration of the following set of tools:
• Centralised Information Platform: this platform integrates the information from airport and airline operational systems as well as the one received from the aircraft systems. In this particular case, the platform was installed in Athens International Airport (AIA), therefore the integration was done with the same airport systems and Aegean Airlines systems (the main airline operating at AIA).
• Mobile application for passengers: an application aimed at receiving information from simulated passengers (no real passenger provided any information to the project) was developed to support tracking of the passenger process. This application needed the installation of a set of beacons (Bluetooth devices) within the airport terminal in order to track movements within the terminal.
• Handling processes tool: the integration of real-time information on handling activities was achieved through the development of a dedicated tool that could be used through a tablet device by the handling supervisor. This tool had a twofold objective: on the one hand to inform the handling agent on the information sent by the aircraft system and the crew’s request on handling services required by the aircraft and on the other hand the handling agent could publish the status of each turn-round activity (boarding, deboarding, refueling, cleaning, etc...) which was fed to the centralised information platform providing a real-time picture of the handling operations to the rest of the stakeholders. This information also fed the predictive model, in which any disruption on the expected planned turn-round was indicated and an alert raised.
All these solutions were validated in real-live operations in Athens International Airport using real flights and operations to validate the handling processes tool and the centralised information platform but for the mobile application INTERACTION team members simulated being passengers of those monitored flights, ensuring no personal data of passengers was captured by the project. Validations have shown the following:
1. The predictability of disruptions during airline and airport ground operations has been improved. The detection of potential disruptions well in advance allows additional time to study the operation and potential outcomes of different solutions before taking any decision. This ensures on the one hand that better decisions are taken and on the other hand thanks to the implementation of collaborative decision principles, these decisions are taken in collaboration, ensuring optimum solutions to all stakeholders.
2. Common situation awareness of the overall turn-round process has been improved, thanks to the improvement and automation of the communication and information sharing among stakeholders, particularly between airport systems and aircraft crew.
3. Introduction of the passenger within the turn-round stakeholders, by implementing a bidirectional communication channel between passenger and airport. This allows the rest of stakeholders to receive information on the expected time of arrival of passengers at the gate and in particular for the airport to visualise the location of passengers of a certain flight. On the other hand, it allows passengers to receive personalised information related to their flight which may be of interest to them.
4. The impact of each process into the overall turn-round process and to the final time of departure of a flight has been calculated, linking the passenger movements through the terminal with the different aircraft handling activities.
Athens International Airport
The main results obtained by AIA from the project are thanks to its participation in the development of different solutions and their validation at the same airport. In this context AIA has supported:
• The integration of the centralised platform in Athens Airport with the different airport stakeholders (i.e. Airlines, Ground Handlers)
• Functional validation of the centralised platform and its integration with the Airport Operations Center
• Integration of the centralised platform with the boarding pass control scanning system
• Functional validation of ibeacons at the airport terminal and its integration into the centralised platform
• Site installation, integration and validation trial for the exact departure and arrival of aircraft
• Validation of the new information platform and aircraft- airport communication solution.
The active participation of AIA in all those activities has provided the airport with a very good insight on the potential that these new solutions provide to the airport and aviation community. Also, the collaboration of AIA in those activities ensured the development of solutions focused on solving real problems, adding value to the final developments.
Aviapartner focused its participation in INTERACTION in developing two concepts aiming at rationalising the number of Ground Support Equipment circulating in the ramp. The solutions are summarised below:
• Unification of passenger and baggage process: the concept aimed to compare airport terminals to train station in which passengers carry their luggage all the way to the train. This concept was just developed in paper and validated using computer simulation tools. The results of the validation together with the cost-benefit analysis concluded that the concept could be beneficial for new airport in which most operations had a low cost business model.
• Pooling of Equipment (GSE): the concept reduces the inefficiency of the use of equipment at airports through pooling of equipment. This means that ground handling agents make use of the same pool of equipment, potentially managed and/or owned by a third party, including the ramp handling equipment and staff/passenger transportation equipment. Overall the outcome of the concept was really positive as well as the feedback received by the Advisory Board. Nevertheless some issues should be solved on a case by case basis before implementation.
• Centralisation of services: reduces the inefficiency of the use of equipment and personnel at airports using the centralisation of some services. This means that one single service provider at the airport exists for a particular service. Note of caution should be taken to the amount of services that can be centralised in one airport, since heading too much towards centralisation could lead to a monopolised situation.
From INECO’s perspective the main results and foreground obtained from the project can be summarised as follows:
• Analysis of the current turn-round processes for the identification of inefficiencies: as mentioned above, this was the first step of the project.
• Identification and proposal of solutions for passenger and baggage, mobile vehicles and equipment and green concepts: by participating in the different design thinking and brainstorming workshops
• Definition and validation of preliminary design solutions for time efficient passenger and baggage processes, GSE equipment management and green apron operations: validations mainly based on expert groups evaluation and simulation
• Support the definition and validation of a prototype for a centralised platform.
The main focus of PLD in the project was set in two different lines of action both focusing on information sharing but one dealing with cargo information while the other arrival information from aircraft. The two solutions developed in the project are:
• Cargo portal solution: the concept consist of a support platform for the cargo process which was developed in a prototype. The development was based on mobile and network connectivity availability, designed with a simple setup and integration and easily operable. The main aim of the platform is to provide a common view of the cargo process to all its stakeholders (airline, cargo handler, ground handler, customs, etc.). This is achieved by sharing information on real time and providing a common repository in which documentation is uploaded and shared among stakeholders. One of the main inefficiencies detected in the cargo process and which hindered the use of empty bellies in passenger flights to transport cargo was the amount of documentation needed to be exchanged in paper. Therefore, the cargo portal aimed to ease the quick exchange of this documentation decreasing the amount of paperwork and avoiding potential source of delays in the process such as the loss of a document. The prototype makes use of the standard cargo exchange messages (Cargo IMP and Cargo XML) through e-mail based integration. This eases the integration with existing cargo systems. All interfaces of the prototype are web-based to ease access from all stakeholders including ramp operators from any kind of computing device with internet connectivity or internal airport network. The prototype was validated in a controlled exercise simulating real information with Aviapartner as ground handling agent using the prototype. The outcome of the validation exercise was really positive, indicating some points for improvement but ensuring that the concept responded to the initial operational needs and added value to cargo operations.
• Machine Learning for Estimation of Landing Time solution: the solution provides an accurate estimated landing time on incoming flights based on the ADS-B track information. Machine learning algorithms are trained with historical data to provide a prediction based on available data. The prototype which included an ADS-B data collection station (PildoBox) was developed and deployed in Athens International Airport to validate in on real operations. Results of the validation exercise shows that the solution has a great potential as the predicted landing times provided by the algorithms are more accurate than the ones provided by the updated flight plans. The estimation can improve the predictability on arrival supporting a more efficient resource management. Its greater potential could be for those airports not having an integration from ATC systems or additional systems that require of this information but cannot have access to it.
ThyssenKrupp Elevator Innovation Center (TKEIC)
TKEIC worked in INTERACTION mainly in two different lines of action:
• Time efficient passenger and baggage processes: TKEIC has developed solutions to optimise passenger and baggage processes. On the one hand, the movement of passengers in the terminal can be sped up thanks to the new concept designed of high-speed moving walk (HSMW), based on ThyssenKrupp ACCEL solution. This prototype can move passengers up until 2 m/s. This improvement in the passenger moving speed reduces the connection times between facilities, improving the passenger experience and saving time inside and outside of the terminal. Another design in this line of action proposed and developed by TKEIC has been a new gate concept aimed at reducing the movement and space of the apron operations, saving cost of the passenger boarding bridge (PBB), both in initial investment and maintenance, and reducing the time to dock and un-dock the PBB. The new concept implies the standardisation of the gate design for aircraft type C such as Airbus A-320 family. This proposal is made after realising that this type of aircraft covers around 80% of aircrafts operating in European airspace. As it is obvious some flexibility is lost in the airport but savings and benefits are considered to be higher than cost. In line with this aim to reduce passengers’ boarding and deboarding time for aircraft type C operations, a study was made conceptualising a passenger boarding bridge that can dock not only the aircraft front door but also the rear door, by going over the aircraft wing. These two designs were developed as concept papers, using CAD designs and studying the impact that they would have on the operation. Then a cost benefit analysis for both designs was developed, providing very good results for particular scenarios.
• Fleet, mobile vehicles and equipment management: a solution to complete automatically the PBB docking and undocking processes from and to the aircraft was developed. The objectives of this solution were on the one hand an increase of safety in the process, reducing potential damaging to the aircraft fuselage during the docking operation by decreasing the human error factor and on the other hand improving the predictability of the process since the optimisation of the docking and undocking trajectories ensures repeatable manouvering covering the same distance in the same time. The system was developed into a prototype with stereo vision system cameras. The prototype has the required algorithms and software for the automatic detection of the aircraft door while adjusting horizontal and vertical movement and speed to dock and undock. This allows conducting the operations of docking and undocking safely with an optimisation of the trajectory ensuring a uniform time of operation.
TLD focused its research in their own field of action which is the development of Ground Support Equipment (GSE). In this regard, focus was made on initial search for inefficiencies looking at current GSE fleet and ways of improving them. The following activities provided the main contribution of TLD:
• Aircraft Navigation lights powered by towtractor converter: A feasibility study together with Airbus was conducted to include this functionality in an existing TLD towtractor. Once feasibility results were positive, development was made and finally a demonstration with an actual aircraft was conducted achieving very positive results. The main impact of this solution will be on the field of reducing the environmental impact of ground operations, since aircraft fuel consumption and emissions is reduced thanks to the use of this prototype.
• Feasibility study for more electrical tractor: INTERACTION envisaged ramp operations being conducted by fully electrical fleet. One of the biggest issues in terms of GSE to achieve this vision was the development of an electrical tractor with the capabilities to transport the amount of cargo required to fulfil its tasks. TLD designed an electrical tractor which would be able to cover this kind of operations in most airports as several scenarios were simulated and considered in the design. The outcome of the study was very positive and is expected to be the spearhead of a new set of electrical GSE fleet.
• Assisted/Automated cargo loader to aircraft docking: one of the lines of action of the project aimed to automatise processes at the ramp in order to increase safety levels and predictability of operations. In this case, a prototype was developed which automated the docking of a cargo loader to the aircraft. Even though there is still research to be conducted to this prototype to make it commercial, results obtained so far are really promising and set the baseline for further automatizing ramp processes.
Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB)
The UAB has focused its research within INTERACTION in the passenger process, Green concepts and information management tools. The main results of its research are summarized below:
• Slot assignment for passenger security screening: this solution provides passengers with a slot calculated through a specific algorithm considering that flight and the demand of the airport in order to cross the security screening process within a particular timeframe. Thanks to the use of this slot passengers may change the queuing time spend at the security screening queue by waiting time. Thanks to the influence of the passenger behavior the airport can improve the staff management at this point and make a better use its own infrastructure, increasing slightly the overall capacity of the process without investing in additional infrastructure.
• Prediction of consumed potable water and catering goods: predictive algorithms have been developed and trained using real information from Aegean flights regarding to the on-board consumption of potable water and catering goods. This prediction supports the optimization of the loading of potable water and catering goods on-board reducing the transportation of unconsumed water and goods which adds up weight into the aircraft, increasing the fuel consumption and emissions of the flight. Therefore, the solution aims to minimize the fuel consumption and emissions of flights by better adjusting the total amount of potable water and goods transported on-board considering the sequence of legs and the airline cost model.
• A collaborative decision making enhanced framework was developed which aims to avoid the delay propagation between airport sub-processes satisfying all stakeholder business models.
The results and foreground from Airbus both Germany and France are compiled in the following list:
• Aircraft Navigation lights powered by towbarless tractor: this prototype was developed and demonstrated in real operating conditions. The most noticeable benefit of this solution relates to green concepts as it is the reduction of fuel consumption of aircraft while moving on ground towards maintenance operations or hangar.
• Aircraft target markings for ground equipment alignment: proof of concept designed in scale 1:1. This design was made as an enable for the automated docking of passenger boarding bridges and cargo loaders. The implementation of these markings into the aircraft fuselage improved the detection of relevant characteristics in the fuselage easing the visual localization of the doors so that the automated docking could speed up its alignment.
• Aircraft RFID tag identification: this solution was designed as a proof of concept in scale 1:1. This solution supports tracking of ULD and cargo.
• ULD RFID tracking outside and inside aircraft cargo hold: demonstrator developed in order to track ULDs both when being handled at the airport and inside the aircraft cargo hold.
• Communication between aircraft and airport: the integration of aircraft information into the airport systems was made thanks to the development of a demonstrator tested in actual operating conditions and integrated with the centralized information platform. The demonstrator supported the automated tracking of the aircraft turn-round time milestones.
• New concepts related to passenger boarding methods via passenger boarding bridges were explored and were left at concept maturity level.
The participation of ALG was distributed to almost all tasks in the project, even though some focus was made on particular activities as described in the following points:
• Descriptive current turn-round process: the detailed description of all current turn-round process in itself is a result of the project which has received very positive feedback from the different members of the Advisory Board. The process models developed show clearly the relationship among the different tasks in each process and the roles of the different actors are also described. Also of importance is the description of the current information management picture as it provides a comprehensive description of the complex information management system architecture that can be present at any airport. The study conducted of the turn-round as a whole in which the temporal and physical interrelations among different tasks of all process (passenger, baggage, cargo and ramp) was of very good used at the end of the project while assessing the impact of the solutions, since it provided a clear view of potential savings in terms of punctuality and time-efficiency.
• Inefficiencies and points for improvement: the participation of ALG in all design thinking and brainstorming sessions aimed at identifying the main inefficiencies of the different processes and the turn-round as a whole provided a clear picture of potential improvements in the overall process. It must be noted that not all inefficiencies and points for improvement detected were tackled during the lifetime of the project and therefore, they could be used as starting point of other research projects
• Development and validation of solutions: ALG supported Indra in the development and validation activities of the Centralised Information platform and also supported other solutions such as for example the initial definition of the ULD management system and the validation of the green concepts solutions.
• Business Case and Cost-Benefit Analysis: a particular business case for each solution validated has been developed by ALG which has provided ALG with a very good insight in different cause-effect relationships in the turn-round process and impact assessment of different solutions. A solid and consistent methodology was produced to cover all solutions in a comparable manner. Also at the beginning of the task a performance framework to assess all solutions was developed and it was then adapted to the particularities of the different solutions that were raised during the evolution of the project.

Potential Impact:
INTERACTION measured the impact of the solutions proposed by developing a Business Case and Cost-Benefit Analysis. A modelling structure was adopted which allowed to set up a methodology to analyse quantitatively each benefit initiative and associated benefit mechanism, by calculating expenses and benefits due to the implementation of the selected INTERACTION solutions. Only the specific costs and benefits stemming from these initiatives have been quantified with respect to the baseline scenario representing the baseline option, according to the “delta” approach. The timeframe 2013-2030 has been taken for all scenarios. The main steps in the business case development process are:
1. Scoping and planning:
2. Definition of KPAs and related KPIs
3. Building of Influence Diagrams
4. Qualitative evaluation of Impacts
5. Quantitative evaluation of impacts
6. Cost-Benefit analysis
Following the above stated methodology, after a brief enumeration of the basic assumptions necessary to establish a common playground for INTERACTION partners, a comprehensive identification and analysis of the Key Performance Areas (KPAs) and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) was provided. A qualitative evaluation of the solutions, which supported the decision making for the solutions developed in WP4 and WP5 of the project, was conducted based on the performance framework stablished. Finally, the qualitative assessment of the impact of the select solutions is performed, together with the Cost Benefit Analysis.
In line with the context of the project, an approximation of the traffic in Athens International Airport was taken as reference to assess the quantitative benefits of the different INTERACTION solutions. Also in line with the defined INTERACTION’s general scenario, the traffic values used for the analysis of certain solutions were focused on flights operated by medium range Narrow Body Aircrafts, which represent the main European traffic.
Baseline Turnaround Model considered for the analysis was based on actual turnaround records from Aegean Airlines flights analysed through statistic and simulation. The work developed during INTERACTION formalised the interdependencies between the Passenger, Baggage, Freight and Ramp & GSE sub-processes that coexist during the aircraft turnaround process. Once these were identified and formalised a mathematical modelling process was used to simulate the Turnaround operation.
In order to quantify gains/losses in a final cost benefit analysis it is crucial to put a price on time saved, safety improvements or environmental benefits. The baseline figures have been estimated by expert judgment from INTERACTION partners or based on references such as EUROCONTROL reports, SESAR Definition Phase deliverables, previous or parallel INTERACTION studies, and other sources. Finally, a discount rate of 4% (including a basic free time value of money, compensation for the erosion of the principal by inflation and a premium for risk), was taken as a nominal value for the Cost-Benefit Analysis.
Unification of passenger and baggage processes: Cost-Benefit analysis of this solution is mainly driven by landside handling costs, airside handling costs, airline delays, airport security costs, Baggage Handling System (BHS) costs, passenger dwell time and value of time per passenger. Is it concluded that unifying the passenger and baggage flows will not lead to any significant gains in landside as well as airside handling, except in the “high” scenario. The main gain for an airline can be the saving of delays due to passengers or bags being late. Quantifying the problem however shows that this will save only a very small percentage of delays and will not lead to any significant gains for the airline. For existing airports with existing BHS systems, the gain is estimated not to be as big as expected, since Airport Operators cannot simply sell their customised system. Furthermore the unification will lead to less time spend on the airport by the passenger and with that less spending of the passenger at the airport. Finally, conclusion is that introducing the system at new airports is a more likely option. They will not have to deal with existing BHS and can implement the system directly into their building and infrastructure design. This will lead to time savings for the passengers as well as possible cost reduction of the infrastructure for the airport, without increase of the landing fees.
Slot assignment for security screening: The main economic benefits/costs from implementing the solution can be divided into three categories: the potential increase in operational efficiency of the airport; the potential increase in airport commercial revenue; and potential reward mechanisms for the passengers. First relevant conclusion is that the reduction in number of passengers accessing the security screening controls in peak hours can potentially translate into a reduction of the number of Security Screening Checkpoints (SSC) that need to be opened simultaneously during a certain period of time, and consequently impact the necessary number of security agents and employee costs - assignment of slots to pass through the security screening will let airports soothe out the congestion peaks and reduces idle capacity during working shifts. This solution could also potentially impact in a positive manner passenger dwell time by minimizing the queuing time and in some cases transforming the queuing time into waiting time. In the reference airport considered in the present analysis (Athens International Airport), queue time values are already considerably low, and as such this factor is not translated into economic benefit in the CBA performed – however it is considered it could potentially lead to high benefits in commercial airport revenues for more congested terminals. It is concluded that slot assignment for passenger security screening is a feasible solution and highly relevant in the context of airport traffic growth, potentially reducing the need of acquiring more screening infrastructure.
High speed moving walk: In the study concerning the implementation of the High Speed Moving Walk (HSMW) concept, three scenarios were considered: the connection between the main terminal and the satellite building, the connection between the airport parking and the main terminal, and finally the connection between the metro and the main Terminal. CBA was based on previous literature on approximate costs of Moving Walks and other public transport systems, namely buses, light rails, Automated People Movers (APMs), and Personal Rapid Transits (PRTs), and with the approximate costs of the HSMW prototype developed. The major savings considered when comparing the HSMW with an APM system (and always considering the approximate range of distances mentioned) come mainly from the lack of need for large infrastructures, absence of operator stations and increased capacity (continuous transport). APM project in a 50-70% of total costs (in inverse proportion to the distance) derived from civil works (tunneling and stations). When comparing the HSMW to the installation of a bus system for the airport parking scenario, considerable economic gain is also estimated. In comparison to conventional moving walks, cost of installation and maintenance of HSMW is higher, but faster and continuous transportation services and higher level of service is highlighted.
Standardized gate for one aircraft family: Results from simulations show positive impact of the implementation of standardized gates as it reduces the PBB operation time, the time required for the passenger to board and disembark, the overall turn-round time, the space required in the apron and the investment and maintenance cost at the same time as it increases the gate capacity in the airport (number of operations). It must be noted that the results correspond to the case under study, to build the standard gate in the Athens Airport solely in the gate A07 and B07 – values should be extrapolated accordingly if a higher number of stands is considered. In order to forecast the results throughout the year considering different cases of stand occupation, the following scenarios have been considered: 6 peak hours / day, all year; 6 peak hours / day, half the year (6 months); and 6 peak hours / day, for 1/3 of the year (6 months). Considerable economic benefit is estimated for the airport for all scenarios, due to estimated increase in capacity and reduction in capital/operational costs of a standardized gate when compared to the current gates in use.
Rear door boarding over the wing: Simulations show positive impact in terms of operation performance but negative impact in other aspects. Turn-round time is reduced thanks to a reduction in the boarding/disembarking process. In this point, passenger experience is also enhanced. On the other hand, the PBB is more expensive than current ones, meaning a higher investment from the airport. The implementation of this PBB also reduces the space in the apron, as increased space is required for the PBB movement. In order to forecast the results throughout the year considering different cases of stand occupation, the following scenarios have been considered: 6 peak hours / day, all year; 6 peak hours / day, half the year (6 months); and 6 peak hours / day, for 1/3 of the year (6 months). The study shows the economic impact that an OTW Gate has in an airport is mainly dependent on the amount of aircraft using the bridge per day – while the lowest case is considerably negative for the airport, the highest case highlighted above shows a potential gain.
Minimizing Blockages during the Boarding Process: The results of the boarding simulation framework implemented show a high disparity of total boarding time according to the particular characteristics of the passengers and the boarding strategy to be implemented. Within the CBA performed, only an approximation of the potential reduction in total aircraft delay due to boarding processes was considered. The results should therefore be interpreted with caution and as an indication of potential benefits. As next steps, it is recommended to further investigate reward mechanisms (ie. extra miles, free coffee, etc) that would engage different types of passengers to contribute actively to minimize aisle blockages and validate the above methodologies in realistic environments.
Freight centralized dynamic system/ Cargo Portal: The main economic benefits/costs from implementing the solution can be divided into two core categories: potential optimization of belly cargo transportation in scheduled passenger flights and potential reduction in turnaround delays due to cargo. The cost-benefit analysis results in the present analysis only account for the estimated reduction in turnaround delay in the context of cargo transportation, while the benefits concerning greater use of passenger aircraft for transportation of cargo is mentioned only in a qualitative manner – such is due to the fact that no realistic estimation of the increase in cargo transported, due to the implementation of the solution, can be computed considering relevant assumptions. Final conclusion is that low implementation costs combined with estimated turnaround reduction benefits result in economic benefit for the airlines triggered by the implementation of the solution.
Track and Trace Smart Labels: The main economic benefits/costs from implementing the solution can be divided into three categories: increased awareness of real time environmental conditions cargo is subjected to (increase in quality of service), awareness of ULD location at the airport, and better control of ULD content, volume and weight (potential decrease in turnaround delay). The airline benefit analysis results in the present CBA only account for the estimated reduction in turnaround delay in the context of cargo transportation, while the benefits concerning increased quality of service due to the provision of real time environmental conditions the concerning the cargo is mentioned only in a qualitative manner – such is due to the fact that no realistic monetary estimation of the increase in quality, due to the implementation of the solution, could be computed considering relevant assumptions. The benefits both in turnaround delay reduction terms in monetary terms for the airline are considerably high when compared to the necessary costs to be bared by the airport, arising from the necessary investment in RFID infrastructure. In any case, cost share mechanisms could be agreed between the two parties with the purpose of obtaining a more balanced cost-benefit analysis.
ULD Management system: The main economic costs and potential benefits from implementing the solution can be divided into two categories: reduced cost of repositioning empty ULDs and additional cost of transferring cargo from/to nearby airports. The cost of associated to the transportation empty containers by air through Europe is estimated in the scope of the CBA, together with the cost of transporting cargo to nearby airports by road and boat (based on unit values present in previous studies). Main conclusion is that C02 emission and economic benefit of ULD management solution is highly dependent on weight and distance of goods to be transported by road/boat – economic benefit varies from highly negative to highly positive depending on scenario considered. Nonetheless, it is concluded that with solid business cases for each specific situation (cargo transportation cluster), fostering intermodality in cargo and empty ULD transportation could potentially lead to environmental and monetary benefits.
Pooling of Ground Support Equipment (GSE): The main economic benefit potentially arising from pooling of GSE is the reduction of the total number of equipment units required when compared to baseline scenario. On the other hand, investments costs combine software requirements and personnel needed to monitor and supervise the pooling and administrate the payment of pooling. Total cost-benefit projections highlight the high potential overall benefit for the handler. Two additional scenarios show positive benefits, first considering that engagement standards are estimated too low (all handlers operate individually the task lengths are increased by 10% and the same is done for the case where the handlers pool their equipment) and the case where the task lengths are only increased in the case of pooling.
Centralization of services: When looking at service centralisation of the pushback and bus service within the developed study, the possible savings are high. The service centralisation of GSE benefits from the same advantages as pooling. But in addition it will also benefit from decrease in required personnel. Furthermore, the equipment is easier to manage since it belongs to only one company which already solves many disadvantages of pooling. Due to standardization the maintenance costs will become lower and due to more specialized personnel the risk of having accidents will decrease. So service centralisation will have lower operating costs and almost no investment costs. It does however come with disadvantages, such as the risk of price increases and quality reduction due to monopolistic situation.
Automated Passenger Boarding Bridge Docking: The objective of this solution is to make an automatic docking system for Passenger Boarding Bridges (PBB) to optimise the trajectories from parking position to docking of the aircraft, ensuring the time in each operation and reducing the damage on the aircraft due to the removal of the human error factor. The business case analysis performed highlights that main potential economic benefits are potentially witnessed both for airlines, due to reduced delay and accident costs (repetitiveness of the process process), and the airport, due to lower maintenance costs of the PBB, through the implementation of the automatic docking solution developed. Overall costs of the prototype developed are relatively low when compared to the total cost of the PBB, and the solution is estimated to generate benefits for both stakeholders.
Automated docking of cargo loaders vehicles to aircraft: The objective of this solution is to make an automatic docking system for cargo loading vehicles without adding any new elements to aircraft. The system aligns the cargo loader correctly before entering into the Aircraft Safety Area thereby ensuring a straight approach eliminating the risk of hitting the aircraft and/or other GSE. The major point of benefit of this system is that it is retrofitable in the majority of existing cargo loaders. In addition economic benefits are potentially witnessed both for airlines, due to reduced delay and accident costs, and the ground handler, due to lower maintenance costs of the cargo loading equipment, thanks to the automatic docking solution developed. The solution is estimated to generate benefits for both stakeholders.
Aircraft-GSE Communication: Within the present solution, Aircraft-GSE Communication is proposed to enable exchange of status and operational parameters between aircraft systems and ground equipment and systems as well as on-board crew and ground personnel to improve ground servicing and optimize the aircraft turnaround. Main economic benefits estimated arise from reduced turnaround delays. Economic benefits for the airline are potentially triggered by the aircraft-GSE solution, even when only delay reduction is considered. Other potential benefits could arise from improvement of information flow, possible utilization as a big-data source for improvement calculations, and real-time tracking of progress.
Optimization of potable water loaded in the aircraft: Two different scenarios are analysed: rounded quantity loading (once the exact quantity is determined, it is rounded up to a percentage of the water tank according to available capabilities), and exact quantity loading (once the exact quantity is determined, the GSE loads that exact quantity to the aircraft at each turnaround). Main advantage of the first scenario is that it requires no significant set up investment, while on the second scenario, fuel and emissions are reduced in an optimum manner, and faster operation could be achieved. The solution shows very promising results for predicting water consumption and potentially relevant economic benefits due to the amount of fuel potentially saved by using the methodology to compute the amount of water to be loaded in the aircraft throughout the time period considered.
More powerful electric equipment & Fully electric equipment (charging stations scenario): The analysis of the fully electric equipment (charging stations scenario) solution focuses on the optimum strategy in battery charging which apply to electrical cargo tractor (in conjunction with more powerful electrical equipment solution) considering the battery technology selected, charging technology and the operational constraints. Results highlight the amount of fuel saved and total cost of technology. The Lithium-polymer or “advance battery technology” appears to be the path for the operation considered, as it limits the fleet to a reasonable number of units, it reduces traffic, and recharging station’s needs, with no hazardous battery handling, reduced required surface for charging station and flexibility with no (or few) consequences on battery recharge cycles. The economical estimation, also promotes the “advance battery technology” compare to the other alternatives considered.
Aircraft Navigation Lights Powered by Towbarless Tractors: During the project an interface between the towbarless tractor and Airbus aircraft were developed to supply 115V AC/28V DC directly from the tractor to the aircraft which enables the navigation lights to be powered directly, therefore reducing the need to have the APU on. The estimated results of the analysis highlight the benefits both in C02 emission reduction and in monetary terms for the airline, arising from reduction in fuel consumption, are considerably high when compared to the necessary costs to be bared by the ground handler. In any case, cost share mechanisms are recommended between the two parties with the purpose of obtaining a more balanced cost-benefit analysis.
New Centralized Information Management Platform: The present solution describes a new information management system prototype developed in the course of the project, common to all airport stakeholders, which consolidates the information provided by all actors related to the passenger and ramp processes in the airport. Economic benefits measured in the cost-benefit analysis are considered both for airlines, due to reduced delay costs, and for the airport, due to increased commercial income. These economic benefits are backed up by the positive feedback provided by stakeholders during the live validation trials in Athens International Airport within the context of the project. Time-efficiency improvements have been detected in operations for outbound flights, and the information concerning passenger’s location has helped improving predictability in the passenger process.
The results show a high added value from the establishment of the INTERACTION in several areas and for all stakeholders. Of particular interest is the improvement made through the INTERACTION solutions to airport operations punctuality and predictability as well as the enhanced passenger experience. Main recommendations include consideration of KPAs and KPIs not considered, caution when interpreting forecast data and revision of results once higher levels of maturity are reached for the different solutions considered in the INTERACTION scope.
During the whole lifetime of the project several dissemination activities have been conducted to ensure a proper dissemination of project results engaging in communications with relevant stakeholders. In order to ensure a proper alignment of the results and developments of the project with industry and operational representatives several workshops with the Advisory Board were conducted, including their feedback at the different stages of the project. The Advisory Board was formed by people representing the different stakeholders and it was updated with new members as the project progressed and new solutions were proposed. A part from those workshops, the project presented results in different conferences focused to disseminate the results and methodologies used both to the aeronautic field as well as the simulation and research community. The most relevant ones are presentations and stand at the Passenger Terminal Expo carried out in 2014, 2015 and 2016 presenting the results of the project, the International Multidicsciplinary Modeling & simulation Multiconference (I3M) in which INTERACTION participated in 2014 and 2015, participation also in the Airport IT 2015 and Aerodays 2015 and on the IATA Ground Handling Conference. Finally, it is noticeable a paper submitted to the International Airport Review presenting some of the solutions developed in the project.
Also of importance is the website of the project which were updated regularly and some contacts with interested partied were made through the contact section of the website and the dissemination conducted in LinkedIn participating in the own INTERACTION group as well as including some discussions on other groups.
At the end of the project, each partner has looked back into the project and all the achievements made and from them identified the exploitable results which are foreseen to be further developed in the future:
ALG: IBC and ALG as consulting companies have as main asset their human expertise. To that aim, INTERACTION brought a very detailed knowledge of airport turn-round processes and the participation of each stakeholders involved, including their position in the decision making chain and the IT management and decision support equipment currently in use. In addition to that, the leadership and active participation in all dissemination activities has provide ALG with a very wide view of current research initiative and where the industry is heading towards in the airport operational and strategic field. This knowledge will add to the experience that ALG is able to provide to its clients, being able to further develop the consultancy services provided to airports and airlines.
In addition to that, the development of such a CBA including all solutions developed under the project has demonstrated the solid capacity of ALG in this field and further expanded the methodology applied to carry out this task.
Indra: The centralize platform developed by Indra has cover all objectives defined. Additionally, Indra has achieved a bidirectional communication between passenger and airport systems. The results from the project that can have a direct use by Indra are:
• Improving the common situational awareness: Adding new processes and new inputs from the aircraft process have allowed extending the detailing the information showed by the prototypes to the stakeholders
• Improving the predictability: The prototype was enhanced thanks to the amount of integrated information, which allows earlier detection of disruptions in the schedule, arising alerts to inform stakeholder the need to launch processes to avoid or correct them
• Monitoring of Passenger Process: Validations show the capability to track passengers at different check-points integrating this information into the airport view of the prototype and using it to inform on the status of the turn-round
• Integration between aircraft process and other processes involved within the turnaround: Passenger and Aircraft processes have been integrated in the prototype providing an enhanced situation awareness
• Integration of airport systems with aircrafts: Working jointly with Airbus, an interface has been defined and implemented to integrate aircraft information into the airport systems
Aegean Airlines: Aegean airlines will benefit from being a user of the different prototypes validated:
• The centralized information platform preliminary validation activities showed a positive impact on the decision support capabilities for early detection of possible inefficiencies and delays. Advanced knowledge of last minute passengers, passengers missing from the gate, tracking of transfer passengers will enhance the decisions taken at the boarding process and minimize delays and turnaround times.
• The preliminary results for the Slot assignment for security screening show that it has a positive impact on the on time presence at the gate and improved customers experience.
• Performance indicators from centralized information platform
• The results provided by the solution Unification of Passenger and Baggage Processes showed positive results at NON hub airports, although that a future development of solutions may enhance bigger airports and seasonal Hub operation, especially in transfer process.
Airbus: The results from the project that can have a direct use in Airbus are:
• Aircraft navigation lights powered by GSE. Big lever to extend aircraft battery time use during towing operations.
• Aircraft targets for GSE alignment definition. Clear that with these targets, all the stakeholders around the aircraft-airport environment will benefit from them.
• Definition of data structure and integration with airport IT platform. For near mid-term use, it is key to have a data structure definition to exchange with all the stakeholders around the aircraft, and specifically with the airport IT platform
AIA: For AIA, the main exploitable results are related to the airport operations:
• The centralized information platform preliminary validation activities showed a positive impact on the decision support capabilities for early detection of possible details and ways of mitigating them (i.e. Late Passengers) what will allow automate decision making and incident resolution that impact aircraft turnaround.
• The preliminary results for the Slot assignment for security screening show that apart from the positive impact on the queuing patterns for security screening, that this solution entails, it has a significant impact on the passenger experience that use the airport. This will allow to efficiently manage the allocated time slots.
INECO: From INECO perspective, those are the main exploitable results achieved:
• Increase our knowledge of the turnaround process and the links between the land and airside processes
• Knowledge and expertise on validation techniques by contributing to the Real Time validation of the Centralized Information Platform prototype, which showed the benefits from working with a supporting system that enhanced the monitoring of all airport processes and the decision making by airport stakeholders.
• Knowledge and expertise on the passenger processes by contributing to the solution Unification of Passenger and Baggage Processes.
PILDO: As a result of the execution of the project PILDO has identified the following items as relevant results of the execution of the project:
• Cargo Portal:
• A prototype proving the technological viability of the proposed solution that can be used as the basis of an operational tool
• A better understanding of the cargo process and the stakeholders needs
• The confirmation of the business viability of the approach proposed, as a support tool for established processes and systems taking advantage of the technological progress.
• The identification of potential clients and partners
• Machine Learning for Estimation of Landing Time:
• A prototype of a device for the automated collection of track data
• An algorithm definition and prototype demonstrating the viability of the solution
• The identification of possible market opportunities for the solution or a more elaborated one
TKEIC: The results from the project that can have a direct use are:
• Development of the prototype automatic docking system to use in a real environment.
• Research the automatic docking system to use with different targets proposed by AIRBUS and BOEING.
• Results provided by the study to use the high speed moving walk –ACCEL in Athens Airport to improve the benefits detected in different airports and facilities.
TLD: TLD will in particular develop further the Automatic Docking for GSE based on the findings identified during validation process. Alternative optical sensors will be explored, and the full system with steering assistance actuator will be integrated. The concept raised a lot of interest in the industry, and will be beneficial to Ground Service Providers and operators.
TLD will promote actively the more powerful electric tractor concept proposed during the project with advanced battery solutions and charging stations. Contact and presentation are scheduled in order to find a nest for a prototype to validate actual performances.
The power supply system that can power the aircraft navigation lights via the towbarless tractor while aircraft in movement is also a solution developed that will be promoted to our customer base.
TLD will also monitor the progresses on the development of the standards for communication Aircraft – GSE and Aircraft – Airport and the one related to targets on aircraft fuselage.
UAB: The exploitable results for UAB are related to the techniques and models developed in the context of the project:
• Positive results of the use of State Space Techniques to reach consensus solutions
• Positive results of the use of State Space Techniques to design delay mitigation mechanisms
• Positive results of the use of socio-technological models for reward mechanisms
• Positive results of the use of Machine Learning Techniques to identify potable water consumption patterns.

List of Websites:
Indra: Juan Francisco García;; 0034 916273426;
Athens International Airport: Nikos Papagiannopoulos;; 0030 6942062075;
Aviaparnter: Alexander Demeyere;; 00 32 2 723 03 45;
INECO: Laura Serrano;; 0034 914525727;
Pildo: Daniel Martínez;; 0034 182 88 43;
UAB (Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona): Miquel Angel Piera;; 0034 7287753;
Airbus: Diego ALONSO TABARES;; +33 561 931 683;
ALG: Rubén Martínez;; 0034 934 632 312

Related information


Sergio Almar, (Director)
Tel.: +34 93 4632312


Record Number: 192498 / Last updated on: 2016-12-13