International Airport Review 2018 Awards


International Airport Review has announced the 31-strong shortlist for its annual awards. Established to celebrate excellence in the industry, the inaugural awards in 2017 achieved phenomenal success, and in its second year, the International Airport Review Awards have once again proved the industry’s willingness to showcase innovation.

The shortlist has been drawn from over 80 submissions, with Brisbane Airport making the grade in the Airside Operations category for their implementation of AeroAscent’s TrackerAIRSIDE application.

With more than 50 best practice functions and procedures, TrackerAIRSIDE version 2.3 mobile app uses real time intelligence to support the numerous duties required of busy Airfield Operations Officers (AOO) and Brisbane Airport (BNE).

TrackerAIRSIDE is completely paperless, offering a standardised, efficient, intelligent and easy to use experience, that uses graphical illustration and mapping techniques to support instant collaborative decision-making.

Through the TrackerAIRSIDE app downloaded onto a personalised mobile device each of BAC’s AOO is now able to:

  • record, track and influence airside compliance, safety, incident management, operational maintenance and overall airside performance efficiently and effectively.
  • apply best practice safety and compliance procedures and airside specific best practice activity tracking.
  • Input detailed and uniformed data providing real-time shift-by-shift analytics every 30 seconds and end of week/month etc. trending and segmentation.
  • capture detailed information for each activity, including taking photos and videos which can be attached to reports and instantly shared with other stakeholders.
  • complete necessary reporting airside before/during or after the activity
  • instantly communicate with or see where other team members are in the airfield and what activities they are/have undertaken to minimise any overlap of activities.

Importantly, all paperwork and airfield manuals have been digitised and indexed, condensing thousands of pages of information into a mobile and easily searchable library database at the AOO’s fingertips. This has completely eliminated back office processing, stationary requirements, photocopying time and bulky manual filing storage systems.

While AeroAscent designed the original TrackerAIRSIDE app, BAC’s Airside team has been instrumental in shaping the platform to cater for BNE’s unique airside environment.

To date, the BAC team has provided ideas and feedback that has influenced more than 200 enhancements to the application. Major world first modular additions include:

  1. Rolling Shift Transition and Handover Module
  2. Firearm and Ammunition Module
  3. Knowledge Centre Module
  4. Temporary Obstacle Assessments Module
  5. Notice to Officers and Methods of Work Plans

Engaging the whole Airside Operations team and allowing individuals to help shape the system has been instrumental in supporting moral, changing decade old processes and completely embedding the new technology into day to day operations.

In the short time TrackerAIRSIDE has been deployed at BNE benefits have been evident including:

  • Digital enablement forecast to save $1million pa over the traditional approach.
  • Increased safety and compliance through unique, real-time data collection giving AOO and Team Leaders transparency across developing situations and instant ability to review the status of compliance matters.

The unique attributes of TrackerAIRSIDE include:

  • Brisbane Airport, in partnership with AeroAscent, being first in the world to implement and fully integrate TrackerAIRSIDE version 2.3 and its 50 digitised airside specific processes into its daily operations.
  • The program being exceptionally intuitive and easy to use meaning full roll out of the tool to a team of 28, via a unique Change Management program, only took two weeks.
  • The technology allowing and creating a truly paperless environment, saving not only time and money in written reporting, printing and copying, but creating additional office space once used to store copious amounts of physical files, documents and manuals.
  • The capture of more information electronically on the airfield with a greater emphasis of data quality and timing of data capture.
  • Greater efficiency and accuracy during shift transitions.
  • Activities logged over time indicate where time is mostly being spent in the airfield, allowing for activities and processes to be audited and refined allowing for removal of operational waste and re-focusing of some airside activities.
  • More detailed evidence collection – quality vs quantity – for analysis and continuous team improvement.
  • More formalised and reconciled ammunition control.
  • reporting allowing BNE to develop ‘lead indicators’ that can help the team forecast activities to prevent or minimise further hazards.
  • Visibility of pending/active/completed airfield activities by all team members in shift without the need to use radio or phone.
  • Instant visibility of where each team member is on the extensive airfield at any time. Allowing Team Leaders to allocate tasks to the team member closest to the issue or incident.
  • The ability to use data to encourage achievement, monitor performance improvement and provide instant and ongoing staff evaluation.
  • Allowing greater efficiency for training new recruits.
  • Airservices receiving NOTAMs directly from the app to their email address in the same format.
  • CASA having greater visibility to system generated events, PDFs and a greater best practice end-to-end systemisation of airside activities.

The introduction of TrackerAIRSIDE at Brisbane Airport has been an absolute game changer in the way airfield safety and compliance activities are managed and reported.

Time saved going to and from the office writing, copying, filing and referring to vast quantities of paperwork is now spent in the airfield. This means more high value safety and compliance activities are being conducted with early figures showing 25 per cent efficiency increase delivered already.

The financial savings on stationary, plus the increased productivity gained from the introduction of this technology, provides 100 per cent plus return on our investment within the first year.

The increase in team ownership and enablement means individuals are motivated to make suggestions for enhancements on the platform, which means we’re able to evolve the content and features keeping it relevant for AOOs and the business.

From a wider business perspective, TrackerAIRSIDE has been one of the most successful ‘Lean’ projects at BAC. Lean is based on finding ways to reduce or completely eliminate ‘wasteful’ activities or resources. With TrackerAIRSIDE, the business has reduced or eliminated wastage of paper, time, duplication/double handling and space (for file storage), to name but a few.

The platform can be easily expanded or enhanced and we have plans to take the same learnings to deploy TrackerLANDSIDE for terminal operations later in 2017.

This project is also instrumental in furthering ongoing process improvements and team performance enhancements.

Projects requiring such disruptive thought-leadership and change management are often difficult to en-bed into an organisation, but the way in which the BAC team has approached this initiative has laid a solid path for the introduction of future innovations.

Importantly TrackerAIRSIDE has nurtured knowledge sharing and collaboration in the industry with representatives from four national airports and one international airport having visited BNE to learn about the system with a view to replicating the platform in their airfields.

With BAC leading the way, the learnings and advantages gained from this project are set to forever change the history of airside safety and operations, in the same way new carbon-fibre aircraft have advanced flying.

  • Increased operational intelligence driving deeper efficiency optimisation, lean process and higher value realisation through quality standardised reporting, meaning everyone reports the same way, allowing accurate and more in-depth measurement of all aspects of airfield inspections and reporting.
  • Instant and active removal of process waste and diverting saved effort to more critical value added activities.
  • Positive culture shift driving productivity and quality in reporting with team members reaching and often exceeding daily targets.