White Paper / Case Study: Digitalize Your Ramp

Digitalization is among the top objectives of any airline’s business strategy. This White Paper / Case Study outlines how the Future (Digitalized) Ramp of an airline might look like.

Digitalization as top key objective of the business strategy

Digital airlines have a greater potential to create innovation thus a unique customer travel experience by combining information, business resources and processes as well as digital technologies. Digitalization should therefore be among the top objectives of any airline’s business strategy.


Digitalized passenger travel experience vs. paper-based Ground Operations

Most airlines are moving forward at some speed with digitalizing their passenger travel experience: passengers can book / re-book, and receive information about flight changes, for instance, and all directly via their mobile device.

However, when visiting airlines and entering the apron, I often bump into ramp staff which is still working with walky-talkies, clipboards, pens, pencils, and a lot of paper. As punctual ground operations have become an increasingly critical success factor for the passenger travel experience, it is difficult to understand, why so many airlines still remain in this more or less seventies scenario to manage their ramp activities; when digital and mobile solutions could fundamentally improve their work environment and efficiency.


Future Ramp: Digitalize Your Ramp

This does not have to be the case: a digitalized ramp is the answer. It is IT support on a mobile device bringing isolated core business processes together on a dashboard and allowing the ramp (agent) to better manage simultaneously all workspaces, such as:

•             Turnaround Management

•             Cargo Management & Load Control

•             Passenger & Baggage Handling (Local and Transfer Passengers / Bags):

•             Directing Aircraft

•             Observing Safety and Quality of Ground Handling

•             Other important Ramp Agent tasks (e.g. calling ambulance, doctor)

•             Communication between all involved stakeholders:

•             Decision Support in Trouble Shooting

•             Workflow support

•             Documentation


This White Paper / Case Study outlining how the Future Ramp might look like, is published in current edition of the Aircraft IT Operations Magazine, July – August 2019, starting from page 36 (please click here for the link to the online version of magazine). It contains some best practices that I have encountered for selected digitalized ramp tasks and workspaces: plus, I’ll added a few of my own ideas about how IT support can improve ramp activities.


I look forward to hearing your feedback.