march2022 - 31

rides of transfer luggage), there remain hurdles to overcome to
achieve this outcome.
For instance, while some software solutions are relatively
independent of hardware and transmission technologies,
many are not. In the field of telematics, non-motorized units
remain a problem since they require a high transmission
quality with low energy. Energy-saving transmission
technologies such as LoRa, the physical layer (wireless)
modulization that creates the long-range communications
link or LoRaWAN, the media access control layer protocol built
on top of the LoRa modulization, have not proven to be very
reliable in the airport setting where there are many moving
aircraft and massive steel structure for GSE and dollies.
What is now preferred for increasing the reliability of
information transmission are mesh networks, wherein a wide
variety of objects can communicate with each other, bridging
long distances and increasing the accuracy of the localization
by comparing different position information.
Additional fixed objects at precisely defined positions also
can significantly increase accuracy. For example, this enables
one to determine the exact position of a catering truck at a
loading dock. There still, however, remains the issue of the
truck's GPS signal not being accurate enough, especially when
near buildings or under roofs.
Mesh networks, while definitely offering a better solution,
remain a challenging option as they can only be achieved with
many devices widely distributed over the apron; a setup many
find difficult.
Another area that must be addressed in terms of
infrastructure is that of creating an environment where
both conventional and autonomous vehicles can move safely
without disruption.
While numerous production plants have created this
environment, the airport setting might require decoupled
roadways to be built to accommodate, for instance, bus
shuttles or the allocation of luggage from luggage rooms to
staging areas.
As the performance and flexibility of autonomous vehicles
grows, the need for conventional and autonomous vehicles
to share roadways will increase, but eventually will become
more seamless.
Autonomous Vehicles and Labor Challenges
Without question, autonomous vehicles can have a major
role in both supporting workers and addressing labor-related
shortfalls, including those brought on by the COVID-19
pandemic. They can be critical in helping to future-proof GSE
operations in the post-pandemic environment.
There is little doubt that autonomous vehicles can
effectively perform a wide range of tasks. For example,
passengers with reduced mobility can be supported by airport
staff as well as autonomous wheelchairs.
Through a disciplined approach to combining both staff and
autonomous vehicles, many productivity, safety and passenger
experience benefits can be derived. When combined with the
latest sensor, 360 camera vision (i.e., for collision detection
and avoidance, geo-fencing for operations within approved,
white-listed areas, heightened environmental awareness) and
light detection and ranging (LiDAR) technologies, the optimum
outcomes can be achieved.
Potential accidents on the airfield or within the terminal
can be more effectively avoided especially when supported
with optimization software, boosted by machine learning,
including " Federated Learning " in which part of a GSE fleet
learns something new and this knowledge is automatically
transferred to other autonomous vehicles.
Bridging the Gap Between Man and Machine
By aligning both human and autonomous vehicle operations,
ground support operations can be greatly improved. Driven
by advanced technologies, human resources can be optimally
managed, communications relating to flight updates such
as gate and dispatch of GSE enhanced, and the passenger's
experience made more predictable and seamless.
Through the better utilization of autonomous vehicles/
GSE (e.g., baggage handling, pushbacks, GPUs, bobtails, etc.),
a reduced dependency on labor and lower transport costs can
be achieved. Both safety and security objectives can be better
achieved with the broader application of safe autonomous
driving shuttle technology.
In the end, the expectations of all constituents - the airlines,
the airports, ground handlers and most notably, passengers -
will be well-served when autonomous vehicles are more widely
and effectively deployed in ground support operations.
Paving the Way for Autonomous Vehicles
According to Allied Market Research, autonomous vehicle
technology was estimated at a value of $54 billion in 2019 and
is projected to expand ten-fold to $557 billion in 2026. To get
there, steps will be needed across key areas of infrastructure,
regulations and public-private cooperation.
For airport ground support operations, enhanced
communication systems and telematics will be critical. Also
needed will be new standards and regulations to support
safety concerns, data analysis, record keeping and vehicle
testing, among other requirements.
Governments and the aviation industry will need to work
together to help ensure the highest standards of operations,
maintenance and monitoring of autonomous vehicles in the
airport environment prevail.
Michael Reinkober is product
manager, GS RealTime Staff
and Equipment at INFORM
GmbH, a leading global provider
of intelligent optimization
solutions for airlines, airports
and ground handlers.
March 2022 || || 31


Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of march2022

Editor's Note: EAGLE'S Efforts to Promote Unleaded Avgas
Business Buzz
Industry Expert Column: Break the Ground Damage Code
Support for Air Cargo
Ground Handlers' Green Plans
Perishable Cargo in the Pandemic Age
Autonomous Vehicles Gaining Traction in Ground Support
Goldhofer's Emission-free Towbarless Tractor
Product Hangar
Celebrating 30 Years
march2022 - 1
march2022 - 2
march2022 - 3
march2022 - 4
march2022 - 5
march2022 - Editor's Note: EAGLE'S Efforts to Promote Unleaded Avgas
march2022 - 7
march2022 - Business Buzz
march2022 - 9
march2022 - 10
march2022 - 11
march2022 - 12
march2022 - 13
march2022 - 14
march2022 - 15
march2022 - Industry Expert Column: Break the Ground Damage Code
march2022 - 17
march2022 - Support for Air Cargo
march2022 - 19
march2022 - 20
march2022 - 21
march2022 - 22
march2022 - Ground Handlers' Green Plans
march2022 - 24
march2022 - 25
march2022 - Perishable Cargo in the Pandemic Age
march2022 - 27
march2022 - 28
march2022 - 29
march2022 - Autonomous Vehicles Gaining Traction in Ground Support
march2022 - 31
march2022 - Goldhofer's Emission-free Towbarless Tractor
march2022 - 33
march2022 - Product Hangar
march2022 - 35
march2022 - 36
march2022 - 37
march2022 - 38
march2022 - 39
march2022 - 40
march2022 - 41
march2022 - Celebrating 30 Years
march2022 - 43
march2022 - 44
march2022 - A1
march2022 - A2
march2022 - A3
march2022 - A4
march2022 - A5
march2022 - A6
march2022 - A7
march2022 - A8