All I wish for 2021 is more efficiency… and a rebound of traffic

By Jean Luc Devisscher
3rd January, 2021

2016 was an important year for the aviation industry. This was the year when EUROCONTROL published the A-CDM Impact Assessment bulletin. The bulletin was groundbreaking as this was the first time that the results of the implementation of A-CDM processes could be quantified and this was done by all original A-CDM target airports. Even though implementation was different in every airport, the outcome was not. Collaboration not only means less ‘lost’ movements of all key players at an airport which means a solid decrease in CO2 emissions but it also allows us to better use all the resources at the airport, not only in terms of airlines, ground handlers and ATC but more importantly, through a lesser need to expand apron operations, gate positions etc.

A-CDM allowed and allows for better use of resources and capacity. The average return on investment for A-CDM implementation, in terms of both the process and the platform needed to follow up on all dashboard elements, is believed to be 18 months. This is quick and is clearly explained in light of the efficiency gains and everything that more efficiency brings along. Hence, the actual ROI should be even higher if CapEx can be saved during the years after implementation.

The aviation industry is currently facing some serious challenges. Less traffic means a direct impact on the number of employees and a big number of employees being idle means opportunities to start up other activities. This includes the approach to collect all data on every stakeholder to understand how every flight arrival and departure affects them and how their processes are aligned to what the other stakeholders do. It is logical that when airport operations will resume, airports will need to revisit their entire setup, question their five-year plans, understand how to improve overall customer experience in a COVID-19 world and figure out how their operational processes should be revisited.

According to EUROCONTROL, traffic in Europe – still a key aviation region - will pick up speed in 2022 and 2023 with 2019 levels being back in 2024. This means that now is the time to get prepared, ask the right questions, revisit all processes and take all the necessary steps to move to real A-CDM, not only in terms of processes but also in terms of platforms. A process (and how it impacts operations) can only be made fully measurable by selecting the right platform that allows for a realtime view of operational performance.

If implemented right and if a real A-CDM platform has been selected (only a few of which exist), airports can find the sweet spots that can reduce the impact of the loss in traffic. At EMMA, we have built up our platform from scratch, so we feature no “would be” tools or tools that require six months’ adaptation work to deliver what they are built to deliver. Talk to us and we will be glad to show you how EMMA can create substantial benefits for your airport operations from day one.

Let’s start 2021 with not only good intentions but also clear approaches that can support any recovery. From all of us at EMMA, we wish you a healthy, safe and efficient 2021!