How vehicle and equipment inspections can be simplified and streamlined with AIRDAT’s Onboard and VISA app

As airports expand, both in geographical size and in terms of passenger numbers and airport employees, adhering to safety regulations and ensuring airport safety becomes an ever more complex task. Could an app be the answer to complex safety requirements and improve airside safety? Let’s find out.

Why is airside vehicle and equipment monitoring such a complex operation?

There are various personnel who operate airside and many of them have access to vehicles and equipment. Let’s take the airside operations team for example. These operators will be hired directly by the airport and are managed by the airport. They will complete comprehensive preparation and certification before setting foot on the tarmac. They will require ongoing e-learning and in-person training throughout the course of their career. Any vehicles that they operate will have insurance, permits and authorisation. So far, so complex.

Add to this external operators: ground handling personnel, aircraft refuellers, security personnel, airport police and varying external contractors and you can see why the ongoing training, permit issuing and maintenance becomes a highly complex procedure.

And, as if issuing contracts, insurance and permits for every airside vehicle weren’t a complex enough endeavour, remember that each of these documents have a lifespan and will require renewal throughout the year.

And if a permit expires, insurance lapses or a vehicle fails to pass a safety inspection, what then?

What can happen if defects or expired permits are not adequately monitored?

From a compliance perspective, we understand why permits and defects must be monitored but practically speaking, what can the fallout be if we fail to spot an issue?

1. Daily operations may be compromised

Ensuring vehicles are in pristine condition is vital. Consider the implications of a fault on the braking system of a tug vehicle or an issue with the steering on a set of airside stairs. Failure to identify defects as and when they arise could lead to problems at critical moments, which runs the risk of putting the entire airport operation into jeopardy.

2. Delays and disruptions

Equipment or vehicular defects can cause severe delays and disruptions. If a catering vehicle has a recognisable fault that’s not dealt with immediately, the vehicle could present problems and mechanical issues which could result in flight delays and major losses.

3. Accidents and malfunctions

You may have seen the video of a catering cart losing control on a stand in Chicago O’Hare Airport. According to reports from the Independent, the accelerator on the vehicle became stuck which caused it to lose control. Thankfully, the quick thinking actions of a member of staff saved the day but the truck was perilously close to an aircraft and on a different day could have caused hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of losses.

4. Increased costs and losses

The greatest financial risk is if damage is caused and no valid insurance is in place. The airport would be held financially accountable for staggering amounts. Identifying any issues as they arise has the potential to save time and money. If a minor repair is overlooked, it could worsen overtime and eventually lead to a much more substantial breakdown that results in more downtime and greater costs.

How could an Airport Compliance System improve airside safety processes?

AIRDAT’s Onboard is an airport compliance system designed to consolidate workflow by combining fleet information, permit dates and details, personnel data and everything else required to robustly monitor and record all airport vehicles and equipment. By streamlining a number of systems into one, Onboard can greatly ease the process of monitoring airside safety by improving efficiencies in managing vehicle compliance. At a glance, Onboard can:

  • Manage contract and permit generation
  • Monitor expiring insurance documents
  • Oversee billing
  • Approve and apply permits
  • Impound non-compliant vehicles
  • Offer always-on, audit-ready records
  • Provide insights and reports to better inform airport decision making

How the VISA app can improve airside safety

There’s an app for everything these days but few have the enhanced safety implications of AIRDAT’s Visa app. VISA – the Airport Training and Vehicle Audit Mobile App – provides a complete, overarching view of your airport operations, wherever you are. Not only does it give you access to the entirety of your airport data in the palm of your hand but also makes accessing permits on the go easier than ever before. Vehicle compliance can be checked in real-time and where necessary, vehicles impounded with immediate effect. Need to check the training and compliance of a staff member airside? A single QR code will hold the entirety of their training and licensing data to speed up processes on the airfield.

The final word

While modernisation and change are inherent in the aviation industry, one thing will never change: the need for airside safety. By consolidating and streamlining all airport processes into one intuitive and easy-to-use system, all available via app, you can reduce the likelihood of error, incident and accident. And what’s more, you can do it all in an instant and wherever you are.

If you’re looking to improve airside safety get in touch with a member of our team to see how AIRDAT’s systems could help.