4 Most Common Challenges in Airport Communications

Published: 28 May 2024
Author: Jerome Cauboue
Reading time: 7 min
Aircraft turnaround

While the air transportation industry keeps growing, the market is facing new challenges. Handling the increasing number of passengers and air cargo alone require even greater attention, not to mention the demanding environmental and operational standards set to the industry.

To meet these new challenges, all airport operations must be seamless, secure, and functioning in real-time. One key factor is the efficient and fast communication between the airport, ground teams, control centers, and airlines. Disruptions arising from outdated communication practices result in delays, poor passenger experiences, and additional costs for all operators in the industry. Moreover, these continuing slips create a negative impression of the operators, especially during times when, for example, the importance of reducing CO2 emissions is under strict scrutiny.

In this blog post, we delve into the four most common communication flaws that cause operational, reputational, and financial damages for airports, airlines, and other stakeholders.

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1. Communication Between Different Teams

At airports, information must move quickly between three primary actors: the airport, ground teams, and control centers. One of the biggest causes of delayed information flow is  the varied communication channels employed by different teams. Although the control center can connect with the airport, they might, for example, struggle to locate the appropriate channel to relay messages to ground teams. When this additional step is counted for each arriving or departing flight, we are looking at hours of time wasted per day.

A real-life scenario may look like this: A ground handler faces a problem with the engine and needs assistance from the control tower or its manager to deal with it. However, on the tarmac, he can't reach the right person without passing long minutes in its directory.


2. Security of the Communication Channels

Security is everything in the air transportation industry. Whether regarding to passengers, cargo, or the airport operations itself, security breaches cannot be allowed. Still, the current communication channels used within the airport teams do not always meet these security expectations. The groups operating at airports around the clock even resort to using free, non-secure messaging platforms. While not intentional, this kind of negligence might lead to critical errors.


3. Lack of Live Information

Gate changes, route updates, plan revisions, aircraft information – they all need to reach the airport actors immediately. If the ground teams, control centers and airport personnel are using different communication channels, exchanging real-time information is impossible. A lot of time is wasted contacting people to find the right person or operating team to solve an issue. Instead, communication platforms with automated features can instantly assign the task to the relevant responder. Without a shared collaboration platform, automatic alerts, task assignments and status updates can’t be fully utilized. By using old-fashioned ways to communicate, the full potential of seamless airport operation simply cannot be reached.

A real-life scenario may look like this: A flight is delayed and the cleaning team is not informed in time. The team will wait for the landing of the aircraft doing nothing instead of using this time on another aircraft.

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4. User Experience

We have explored multi-channel practices, security risks, and the inefficiencies of commonly used communication solutions in modern airport environments. It is yet to be mentioned that not only are these old practices slow and complex, but they are also not particularly user-friendly. Most channels still require time-consuming deployment and have bad compatibility with modern accessories. For example, high-tech headsets that ground teams need on the tarmac might not even be possible to use with certain communication platforms.

Agnet® Turnaround can solve these challenges

Agnet Turnaround is a new-generation communication solution that invites all teams on the same communication platform, allowing different groups to connect instantly with the right stakeholder. By utilizing this innovative solution, the different teams no longer need to waste time pondering how to reach any of the crucial operators in the fast-paced airport environment. By eliminating all the extra steps in the communication cycle, we can see clear improvements in reducing delays, taxi times, queues, and disruptions in ground operations, such as luggage and cargo handling.

Based on the encrypted Agnet platform, Agnet Turnaround meets the highest level of security requirements that prevent compromised devices and unauthorized users from accessing the airport’s resources. Also, Agnet Turnaround offers automatic group creation based on the flight number for the turnaround. This automated feature enables live monitoring, facilitates easy tracking of relevant tasks, and ensures that information always reaches the correct person right away.

Handpicked related content

The future calls for change: As the air transportation industry confronts unprecedented challenges, balancing meeting air travel growth with environmental sustainability, we are propelled towards adopting revolutionary, next-generation solutions. We are redefining air travel standards, marking the end of old practices. Visit the Agnet Turnaround solution page to learn more.

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