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       Productivity initiatives at Changi Airport to reduce reliance on manpower
        By Calvin Hui
         Posted on :05:25:26 Jul 2, 2016
       Last edited on:05:30:21 Jul 2, 2016
         Tags: sg

Productivity initiatives at Changi Airport to reduce reliance on manpower .SINGAPORE: More than S$20m will be invested in a wireless (Wi-Fi) communication network in Changi Airport's apron - the area where aircraft are parked on the tarmac. The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) announced the plans on Friday (Jul 1), as part of its effort to boost Changi Airport's productivity by using technology to transform airport processes and reduce reliance on manpower. As part of the Smart Apron initiative, Changi Airport Group will install the Wi-Fi network at airport stands at Terminals 1 to 4, as well as remote and cargo aircraft stands. The 190-hectare coverage in the apron area is nearly twice the size of Gardens by the Bay. According to CAAS, dnata Singapore, SATS and SIAEC will be the first adopters of the new network. There are plans to deploy more mobile devices to staff, from less than 1,000 currently to more than 3,500 over the next six years. Ground staff will have access to real-time data and work instructions, which will allow faster responses to operational changes. The network will also enable wider adoption of track and trace technology, which will give ground staff real-time visibility over the location of resources such as vehicles and equipment. About 5,000 staff working on the apron would benefit from this initiative, said CAAS. ADOPTION OF SELF-SERVICE PASSENGER PROCESSES AT CHANGI AIRPORT CAAS said it is also investing S$15m over the next four years to encourage airlines to adopt self-service passenger processes at Changi Airport. The Fast and Seamless Travel (FAST) fund is triple the amount of an earlier programme called the Passenger Self Service Adoption Programme launched in 2013. Under the FAST Fund, grants valued between S$400,000 to S$2.5m will be awarded to airlines. This is to help offset costs involved in implementing self-service initiatives such as check-in kiosks, bag drop systems and self-boarding gates, CAAS said, adding that this initiative complements CAG's FAST initiative launched in 2014, which aims to implement a complete suite of self-service and automated processes at the airport. Some airlines have already implemented self-service passenger initiatives, including Jetstar, Singapore Airlines, AirAsia and Cathay Pacific Airways. About 2,000 passenger service agents will benefit from job redesign and enlargement efforts arising from the implementation of FAST travel. Director-General of CAAS Kevin Shum said as Singapore faces an increasingly challenging aviation landscape, CAAS is committed to deliver "greater airport innovation and operational efficiency". "This will ensure continual delivery of high service standards at Changi and help uphold its hub competitiveness," he added. SECURITY CONSIDERATIONS IMPORTANT IN AIRPORT DEVELOPMENTS: JOSEPHINE TEO Speaking at the Aviation Community Reception 2016 at ITE College East, Senior Minister of State for Foreign Affairs and Transport Josephine Teo noted that there has been a number of aviation-related incidents recently, including an attack at Istanbul's Ataturk Airport. Mrs Teo said security considerations will have to be "woven into the design" of upcoming airport developments. For instance, while the FAST travel initiative is aimed at boosting productivity, it will also come with biometric features to enhance security screening, she said. Commenting on the Singapore Airlines plane that caught fire while making an emergency landing at Changi Airport, Mrs Teo also said the Air Accident Investigation Bureau of Singapore is conducting a separate independent investigation into the cause of the incident, with the support from experts from Boeing and GE, as well as the US National Transportation Board. She added that to integrate the safety management activities across all aviation service providers, CAAS will develop a State Safety Programme to provide a more holistic oversight of safety management carried out by the airport operator, air navigation service providers, airlines and maintenance, repair and overhaul organisations. - CNA/mz

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