Singapore Airport Terminal Services

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At Changi Airport, Singapore Airport Terminal Services (SATS) is the leading provider of integrated ground handling and in-flight catering services, where it handles some 500 flight movements per day.

SATS needs to schedule a challenging total of 8.000 personnel for long-term planning and 4.000 for daily deployment. To manage this complex task, SATS uses Amadeus UFIS solutions. 

"SATS, after careful evaluation," said Karmjit Singh, SATS chief operating officer, "selected UFIS because of their proven products and track record for implementation systems for handling a high volume of aircraft movements, specifically at major international hub airports."

The initial project began in 2002 with a joint study of the business practices of SATS. This study and the recommendations from it paved the way for the installation of four key modules of Amadeus UFIS portfolio for SATS in 2004. Part of this phase also helped SATS develop the concepts for the operations control centers in which the Amadeus UFIS applications would be installed.

In 2006, as SATS was expanding and reconfiguring the service it was providing, it contracted with UFIS to modify its OPSS-PM module (part of the Resource Management System (RMS)) to handle Central Dispatch. Using OPSS-PM, the central dispatcher can dispatch equipment and personnel to Terminal 1 or Terminal 2 -- making more efficient use of staff and equipment and providing quicker service and turnaround to the aircraft.

In a separate but parallel project, SATS asked UFIS to develop software to process messages to and from handheld devices used on the apron. This project, termed iTrek, first allowed personnel to receive "OK to Load" messages in real-time. As a result of ICAO Annex 17, all luggage must be accompanied by a passenger. Once all passengers are boarded, ground personnel can send a message "OK to Load" to the apron staff through the handheld device. The apron supervisor can quickly acknowledge the message, and loading can start immediately.

A second phase of the iTrek project included transmitting job statuses to and from the apron in real-time, using WAP wireless phones, provided by partner iDen/DNS™. Further enhancements to iTrek include showing on the handheld devices a list of equipment scheduled to be used, thus enabling SATS to extend its apron service delivery framework. The iTrek Apron Service Report (ASR) is also on the handheld device, thereby eliminating the need to travel back to the SATS Operation Control Centre to complete the report. Communication and the working relationship between the apron and baggage sections has also been improved through the handheld devices. As an example, apron personnel can record that a ULD has been dispatched; baggage personnel receive the update and can then confirm the receipt of the ULD.

The latest upgrade to RMS was implemented in 2009 with the introduction of the Amadeus PRM  (Passenger with Reduced Mobiliy)  System. The PRM system is in response to SATS' initiative to continuously improve its passenger service quality. The module is to cater for SATS Special Services within the airport's three terminals. With this module SATS can track all requests and staff assignments for the passengers needing special assistance.

The Amadeus UFIS package in Singapore includes an Airport Operational Database (AODB), basic data processing systems, a flight information processing system, RMS as well as  Connnection Manager solutions. A total of thirteen interfaces to external systems, related to personnel and flight data (for example, SAP and KRISCOM), were implemented. The interfaces run on IBM’s Websphere MQ and J2EE middleware.

Our solution  produces long- and short-term flight schedules and updates these schedules in real-time, including actual times and load data, for all flights operating or being handled at the airport. Data not provided directly from other sources (via an external communications gateway) can be entered manually.

One essential source of information is SITA telexes that are received via an interface. Amadeus 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.

Continuous monitoring of the entire operation is a core function.  Based on the real-time information stored in the Amadeus UFIS operational database, our solution monitors the various milestones and statuses continuously. If a deviation occurs, the supervisor is alerted so that the situation can be addressed. In addition to monitoring flight handling,  our solution also monitors the deployment of staff and services and their performance levels.

The Amadeus Connection Manager helps to ensure smooth and seamless handling of passengers and cargo transferring between flights and terminals. It provides and evaluates passenger, baggage, cargo and mail transfer data and highlights all affected flights.

Amadeus Airport H-RMS and Amadeus Airport Mobile Equipment RMS produce 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.

Our solution provides an overview of all operations at the airport, giving an up-to-the-minute display of the demand for resources and the degree of demand coverage.

The system can be used by up to 300 users concurrently. Client applications are installed on approximately 950 SATS user workstations, connected to the Amadeus UFIS network throughout the airport. Some are located in the central command center and others at the 12 deployment centers for apron, passenger, baggage and cargo, cleaning, catering, maintenance and security services. Staff terminals allow the personnel to retrieve their next job, wherever they may be located at the airport.

Through interfaces to 13 airport systems and airline departure control systems, Amadeus UFIS solutions handle more than 25.000 transactions per day. To guarantee that no interruptions occur, the system runs on two clustered servers and a disaster recovery server. Additional servers provide test and training facilities.

SATS is the leading provider of integrated ground handling and in-flight catering services at Singapore's Changi Airport. In FY 2008/09, they served 30.9 million passengers, handled 1.46 million tons of airfreight, and catered 25.2 million meals. The ground handling services that they provide to their airline clients include air freight handling services, passenger services, baggage handling services, apron (ramp) services, in-flight catering services including aircraft interior cleaning and cabin handling, aviation security services, and airline laundry services.

SATS' reputation for service excellence has helped them to secure 15 strategic joint ventures in ground handling and in-flight catering services at 16 international airports in Asia-Pacific.