With the recent FAA mandate for airports to implement Safety Management Systems, there is a growing interest in leveraging technology to enhance safety programs.

The aviation industry is constantly seeking ways to improve safety, efficiency, and sustainability. With the recent FAA mandate for airports to implement Safety Management Systems (SMS), there is a growing interest in leveraging technology such as Assaia's SafetyControl to enhance these programs. Tim Toerber, who leads business development initiatives at Assaia in the Americas, shares five key considerations on how AI can help the industry improve airfield safety.

1. Anonymized Reporting

One of the primary concerns with implementing AI in safety programs is the protection of personal identifiable information (PII). Assaia's computer vision-based solution, ApronAI, focuses on the act rather than the individual, ensuring acceptance of the capabilities without singling out any one person. By developing comprehensive reporting and identifying trends, SMS managers can determine how best to intervene with the appropriate workgroups, allowing AI to do what it does best while enabling local leaders to care for their teams.

2. Moral Science

Human behavior is not generally wired to "do the right thing" when no one is watching. Individuals may attempt to take shortcuts when they believe no one will judge them or if they believe the risk to be minimal. With SafetyControl continuously monitoring 100% of operations and ground handling teams aware of the associated reporting capabilities, the culture and behavior can change quickly.

3. Subjective Nature of Human Audits

Audits today are highly subjective and open to interpretation by the individual auditor. They are also less likely to occur during inclement weather when risk could be elevated. SafetyControl operates consistently 24/7/365, and the events captured and reported on are the same, regardless of conditions. The algorithm defines the event, which can change as policies change, but always strictly matches the policy without bias.

4. Data Sharing

There is increasing concern in the industry regarding sharing safety data among airports, airlines, and regulators. However, when more data across organizations can be shared about similar risks and vulnerabilities, the ability for the industry to develop mitigations more quickly and broadly is significantly increased. SafetyControl produces anonymized data from event detection algorithms programmed to match widely accepted industry standards, relieving many of the concerns cited when it comes to sharing traditional SMS data across organizations.

5. Standardized and Structured Data Sets

The SMS industry can learn from the lessons of the Aviation Information Data Exchange (AIDX) effort. In 2005, the industry recognized the need for a standard format for sharing flight data, which is now globally accepted and adopted by both IATA and ACI. With Part 5 for airline SMS programs established in 2015 and now Part 139 for airports in place, now is the ideal time to begin standardizing data-sharing protocols for SMS data in a schema that the entire industry can align with and establish their own databases. As tools like Assaia's TurnGPT are refined, querying these databases will be much more meaningful when the events are categorized in a common format.

The implementation of AI in SMS programs has the potential to revolutionize airfield safety. By addressing concerns such as anonymized reporting, moral science, subjective audits, data sharing, and standardized data sets, the industry can leverage the power of AI to develop more effective and efficient safety programs. As the aviation industry continues to evolve, the integration of AI will play a crucial role in ensuring the highest levels of safety, reliability, and sustainability.

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The use of Assaia's TurnaroundControl has provided our Airline Partners, Ground Handlers, and Service Providers with full visibility of the aircraft turn processes. The data, predictability, and visibility enhances our collective efficiency and resilience at Toronto Pearson. Paired with our A-CDM initiative, Assaia's TurnaroundControl provides crucial data driving A-CDM processes, a reduction in turn times, and a noticeable increase in on-time performance.

Dean Wright
Associate Director, Gating & Airport Flow

The way Turnaround 2.0 uses AI and machine learning to boost our zone controllers' efficiency is remarkable. They can now manage multiple gate activities with more focus on handling exceptions, rather than multitasking. Turnaround 2.0 is more than a tool for the present; it's a foundation for 'United Next,' growing with us and helping us surpass our operational goals efficiently.

Daniel Reed
Director of Station Operations, United Airlines

Our focus is to use innovation to make our operations smoother. We have selected Assaia because of the capabilities of the tool. But it is also really important for us that it has a good record of successful implementation, so we know it will deliver for us, for our airlines and ultimately for our passengers.

Dr Babett Stapel
Managing Director, Fraport Slovenjia

We are optimizing all our processes on the apron to shorten the time each aircraft needs to be on the ground, which benefits both our passengers and our airline partners. This is a common issue across our airports and we are talking to all of them about this technology.

Claus Grunow
VP of Corporate Strategy and Digitalization at Fraport

We are pleased to partner with Assaia to implement the ApronAI Turnaround Control solution at T4. This new solution will not only optimize operations and our work with our business partners, but will also help us to ensure a first-class customer experience at T4.

Roel Huinink
President and CEO, JFKIAT

For most airports, the apron is a a black box. Assaia finally gives our ground staff full insight into every turnaround. This allows them to focus on what really matters, while simultaneously making the work environment safer.

Jason Aspelund
Former Manager Strategic Performance, Alaska Airlines

The real-time and historical insights that can inform both airport and airline operations make this solution a clear winner for everyone.

Craig Paul
Director of Technology & Innovation , Halifax Stanfield International

Assaia's product allows airports and airlines to collect, track, and analyze data in real time; this innovation removes inefficiencies and optimizes performance.

Jim Lockheed
JetBlue Ventures

We’re creating the airport of the future, and innovation in apron operations will directly improve the passenger experience. We are laser focused on innovations that will make Pearson and its whole apron ecosystem more efficient while reducing our carbon footprint.

Deborah Flint
President and CEO GTAA

SEA needed an innovative solution to our capacity problem and have worked with Assaia to optimize the turnaround process resulting in reduced taxi times and increased passenger satisfaction. Assaia has exceeded our expectations, consistently delivering on-time & on-budget.

Samer Tirhi
Airline Scheduling Coordinator, Seattle-Tacoma International Airport

With the help of Predicted Off Block Time from Assaia. JFKIAT Operations can be proactive to reduce or eliminate any delays and gate holds

Stephen Tukavkin
VP IT & Digital, JFKIAT

I had mentioned before, great innovation on your part. With these types of improvements, T4 is always leading at JFK. Thank you

COPA Station Manager

We are proud to be partnering with the Assaia team in our mission to use technology to improve the efficiency and safety of the airport environment.

Raghbir S. Pattar
Director of Airports Transformation, IAG

We’re working hard on becoming an airport of the future, and this involves rethinking every part of our ground operations. Assaia’s ApronAI is an integral component of our vision for the ramp of the future.

Abhi Chacko
Head of Innovation & Commercial IT Services, Gatwick Airport

Assaia’s technology adds critical data points to CVG’s early-stage neural network for operational advancements. Structured data generated by artificial intelligence will provide information to make decisions, optimize airside processes, and improve efficiency and safety.

Brian Cobb
CIO, CVG Airport


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