Ground Services

AirAsia ground handling unit GTR opens new digital facility at KLIA2

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AirAsia’s ground handling joint venture Ground Team Red (GTR) has opened a new facility at Kuala Lumpur International Airport’s KLIA2 terminal.

The control centre will track the handling of AirAsia aircraft using digital information on passenger boarding, baggage handling and ramp loading activities, with a target to turnaround aircraft within 25 minutes.

In digitalising the operations, guest services personnel will use a smartphone to execute the gate boarding process, allowing staff to board passengers conveniently while tracking the gate boarding process in real-time efficiently and accurately.

The same smartphones will be deployed at the baggage carousel for baggage reconciliation and also the e-readback ramp loading system to provide an organised view of all baggage and cargo loads for the flight.

Air Asia said this will improve safety by ensuring 100 per cent accurate aircraft weight and balance readings for flight planning purposes and eliminate paper-based Loading Instructions, which are difficult to manage at night and in bad weather conditions.

GTR staff will also now use their handheld devices to automatically clock in when they report for work and receive their flight assignments automatically. This saves time for staff to meet their flights without the need to report to the office.

Another key feature of the control centre is a virtual reality training chamber with six modules – cargo ramp, technical ramp (lavatory), technical ramp (water service), technical ramp (air-conditioning), technical ramp (ground power unit) and aircraft marshalling – that will allow ground personnel to simulate and safely conduct real world scenarios and training exercises without the need for aircraft availability.

GTR chief executive officer, Kevin Chin said: “This digital control centre is a first for Malaysia, and will revolutionise how ground operations services are delivered.

“The centre will allow us to serve our clients better while providing an improved travel experience for passengers and improving hub passenger connectivity through klia2, and it is our goal to establish more such centres across the region in the near future.”

Established on 1 November 2017, GTR is a joint venture between AirAsia and Singapore’s SATS. It is present in 18 airports in Malaysia and Singapore and handles an average of 475 flights daily.

The low-cost carrier said it intends to establish more of such centres across Malaysia in the near future.