There are plenty of airports that make the news for the wrong reasons - but operators who excel in disability assistance are often overlooked. They may not get many headlines, but they're still around and they thrive on service excellence.
Our readers know we firmly believe IT solutions are the foundation of quality service. These two airports- Oslo Airport in Norway and Montpellier Airport in France- do a particularly excellent job of using IT to improve their service.
Oslo Airport (Norway)
The number of passengers at Oslo Airport each year steadily increased from 18 million in 2009 to around 28.5 million in 2019. ISS won the tender for passenger services at Oslo International Airport in 2017 and made a successful switch to digital software. This results in higher quality service for persons with disabilities and less work for workers who previously used Excel for data capturing.
In their world-class IT solution, the ISS PRM operation has revolutionized how accurate information can be accessed and upon which informed decisions can be taken. For example, they are able to take into account finely tuned resource analytics.
Key areas of importance include reporting on passengers who pre-booked assistance but didn't show up and making plans for the future with resource planning. ISS finally was in a great position where they can keep track of trends from all flights and airlines, to figure out what the no-show rate is, and use those figures to plan staffing at peak times.
Further actionable areas included openly talking with airlines that had higher no-show rates to collaboratively work together to reduce that rate and improve the level of service delivered to both the airline and its passengers with special needs.
Another area that saw an immediate improvement was targeted performance on departures. The Director of PRM Services analyzed the data and concluded that service performance was below the acceptable standards under certain conditions.
After an in-depth analysis of the operational factors that influenced the shortcomings, the team introduced weekly rewards with positive effects. The initiatives to motivate employees, increase efficiency and improve performance exist to this day and play a key role in both company culture and the work-life balance of all employees.
The end result is motivated staff that is focused on providing excellent airport service for people with disabilities.
Montpellier Airport (France)
Montpellier-Méditerranée Airport is located in the heart of the Mediterranean. Surrounded by a catchment area of 2,000,000 inhabitants within 60 minutes radius. Passenger growth has been remarkable and is the 4th fastest growing airport in France. 1.935 million passengers were served in 2019, which marks 7 consecutive years of growth.
The airport now serves 18,000 passengers per year who use the PRM service and at this point, it is financially justifiable for the airport to embrace the most advanced IT solution.
In 2020, the Montpellier-Méditerranée Airport made a clear statement about its desire to introduce a PRM system that is efficient and transparent.
In a two-day workshop, airport management covered different software skills for agents and dispatchers. Attendees had the opportunity to self-study in between sessions and ask questions about any troublesome issues or gaps with the help of our instructor. The Project Manager of the IT solution provider oversaw the official migration of the software which took place on the 9th July 2020. Once launched, she described the process as “a smooth and successful transition which was made easier by a positive attitude and willingness to change among all staff”.
Far too many airport managers think that migrating from whichever solution is in place to an advanced one is too hard to even contemplate, but Montpellier’s experience shows otherwise.
And evolving comes with immediate rewards like the Oslo airport experienced. But what matters most is that passengers who need assistance see the quality of service soar overnight. And the latter is the key reason why we at Reduced Mobility Rights firmly believe state-of-the-art IT is the bedrock of service excellence.