Article by Emma Murray

This week the Alice Springs Airport introduced new technology that will drastically improve safety, reporting efficiency and environmental outcomes.

The new technology, called Aero Ascent, is “the biggest change that the airport has implemented in air-site operations” according to manager operations Davy Semal.

Alice Springs is the first regional airport in the world to use this kind of technology.

Now, instead of carrying a clipboard and paper during safety checks, reporting officers can record observations instantly via a mobile device, as well as track incoming flights, the weather, and the location of other officers.

The information is visible to anyone with access to the app, and tells users what is happening across the air site in real time.

On average there are 65 aircraft movements recorded at Alice Springs Airport in a day, and up to 50 staff working on airside movement.

“It’s going to make things a lot safer”

Aero Ascent founder and director Lance Orsmond said knowledge of the environment was a key safety factor.

“Situational awareness is the biggest word in any aerodrome context because you have planes flying around, passengers, birds, weather, and you have people driving around,” Mr Orsmond said.

“They all need to be situationally aware for the safety of everyone, and with paper and a clipboard, you’re flying blind.”

The app also helps capture and analyse information that might have otherwise been filed away.

Mr Orsmond said this type of data was crucial to airports which were committed to continual improvement.

“Over a year we can look at how many types of birds have been at the airfield, how many spills there have been, and what foreign objects have been found on the runway,” he said.

“Once you know this information, you can figure out ways to mitigate it. It will help management make better decisions.”

Mr Semal agreed, adding that the Alice Springs community could be satisfied in the knowledge that his team is going “above and beyond” to ensure they run a safe airport.

“It’s a significant change in how we conduct this business, and the team has accepted it with great enthusiasm, which I’m really proud of.”

Alice Springs Airport reporting officer Shane Martyn started using the app when the system went live on Monday. He said it’s already having a positive impact on his day.

“It’s great, it’s a lot quicker than stopping and writing everything,” Mr Martyn said.

“It’s going to make things a lot safer and it will be a lot easier to report.”

For more information, contact AeroAscent,
T: +61 2 8916 6435 E: goaero@aeroascent W: