UFIS Airport Solutions' collaborative airport management approach is to offer airport management solutions which are key to optimized efficiency, maximized profits and high quality for the entire airport community
When delivering its products and services to customers, UFIS has a similar collaborative approach -- it combines its global knowledge of airports, systems and software with the support and cultural knowledge of a local partner -- to deliver a winning solution to a customer.
UFIS and its Italian partner Softlab S.p.A. have teamed up in such a way for two customers at Rome Fuimicino Leonardo da Vinci Airport. In 2002 Aeroporti di Roma (AdR) and its subsidiary AdR Handling contracted with UFIS and Softlab to deliver the Resource Management System for use with its ramp handling departments. The installation included the Airport Operational Database (AODB), Coverage, Rostering, and OPSS-PM.
This initial project was so successful that in 2005 AdR decided to expand its scope with UFIS. They upgraded their system from UFIS®4.4 to UFIS®4.5, started using the RMS suite of products for their passenger services department, and began using the UFIS Flight Information Processing System (FIPS) for their baggage belt and check-in counter allocation and daily processing and long-term planning for gates and parking positions. With this upgrade, AdR decided to install the new UFIS® applications on a separate server. In this way the upgrade did not affect the currently running system. Data consistency is ensured through the fact that even across the two systems, data is stored only once. For the upgrade project Softlab did all of the on-site installation, testing and training.
Three years later, AdR expanded with UFIS and Softlab again. In one project AdR extended their use of FIPS to include short-term planning and operational use of FIPS for gates and parking positions. Within this project UFIS-AS made some enhancements to the FIPS module to improve its ease-of-use for the operators at AdR. In a second project, the password security module was enhanced to include the use of a complex password. System administrators can specify how complex passwords need to be and how often passwords need to be changed.
In August 2008, UFIS also installed its newly implemented Passengers with Reduced Mobility (PRM) module at AdR. The new application enables handling agents at the airport to plan and dispatch staff for the PRM service using RMS. Since AdR was already using the UFIS RMS system, it was a natural extension for the PRM service. The module also provides the functions to gather status information on the services and to provide data for KPI measurements to ensure that the required service levels are met.
The UFIS AODB is the heart of the IT system. The AODB provides a state-of-the-art, fully scalable solution, combining the highest level of security with real-time performance. The most important function of the AODB is to provide a data integration platform for all IT systems at the airport as well as off-airport systems. Information from UFIS and other systems is stored in the AODB and is made available to authorized applications and systems.
The UFIS FIPS supports airport operations by enabling the user to manage their flight schedules and to process incoming flight information changes in a real-time setting. As a part of the FIPS module, telex processing also allows for the interpretation of incoming telexes, updating the appropriate data in the AODB and making it accessible to the users. The apron management application is a rule-based system which enables planners and dispatchers to produce an up-to-the-minute plan for gate, stand, check-in counter and baggage belt assignment to individual aircraft. An easy-to-use rule generator is provided for the operators to develop new rules or edit existing ones to cater for changes in operational procedures and agreements with the airlines.
The UFIS RMS produces rosters for personnel and equipment resources based on the data in the flight schedule, determining the requirements for equipment, terminal resources and staff with appropriate qualifications. It provides functions to support demand and coverage calculations, shift and duty rosters, and daily rosters and deployment of resources.
Having seen UFIS already in action at Fuimicino, it was natural for Alitalia Ground Handling to turn to UFIS and Softlab when they were interested in software to assist them in improving the services they provided to their customers. Relying on the local expertise of Softlab, UFIS-AS was able to quickly deliver the product to Alitalia. Installation, testing and training were all provided by Softlab. Advanced training workshops were conducted by UFIS experts.
The installation followed a four-phased approach. Operational use of Rostering and Coverage for apron services began in late April 2010 with daily deployment, using OPSS-PM, beginning in June. This was followed by the use of Rostering and Coverage for passenger services at the beginning of October and operational use of OPSS-PM for passenger services at the end of October.
The UFIS® package for Alitalia includes an AODB, Basic Data Processing Systems, FIPS, and RMS. FIPS produces long- and short-term flight schedules and updates these schedules in real-time, including actual times and load data, for all Alitalia flights operating or being handled at the airport. Data not provided directly from Alitalia's own flight system can be entered manually. No physical resource planning (such as gates or parking positions) are done by Alitalia.
One essential source of information is SITA telexes that are received via an interface. UFIS® interprets the telexes and updates the database accordingly. Additionally, each telex is linked to the relevant flight, providing a complete history of information for each flight.
Like the system for AdR, RMS for Alitalia produces rosters for personnel and equipment resources based on the data in the flight schedule, determining the requirements for equipment, terminal resources and staff with appropriate qualifications. It provides functions to support demand and coverage calculations, shift and duty rosters, and daily rosters and deployment of resources.
These three applications provide an overview of Alitalia's operations at the airport, giving an up-to-the-minute display of the demand for resources and the degree of demand coverage. Fuimicino handles 36.3 million passengers, 329,269 movements, and 164,545 tonnes of cargo per year.