The new EU regulation regarding “Persons with reduced mobility” poses a not minor handling issue to airlines and airports. INFORM’s GroundStar offers a IT solution that helps to fulfil the regulation at a minimum cost. The new EU regulation basically states that airports and airlines are responsible for taking care of all passengers with reduced mobility, regardless of the class of travel or the price they pay for their ticket.

An extract from regulation:

“In order to give disabled persons and persons with reduced mobility opportunities for air travel comparable to those of other citizens, assistance to meet their particular needs should be provided at the airport, as well as on board aircraft, by employing the necessary staff and equipment. In the interests of social inclusion, the persons concerned should receive this assistance without additional charge.”

The GroundStar realtime system is currently used in several instances to support the meet and assist function. One of them, internally known under the project name of DIVA, was introduced in Lufthansa at Frankfurt Airport in 2006.

Taking care of all kinds of passengers with special requirements, such as unaccompanied minors and, of course, passengers in wheelchairs and others that require assistance, the meet and assist services are characterised by ad-hoc tasks. An interface to the flight information and booking systems guarantees up-to-date information that is used by GroundStar for the creation of tasks and their allocation to meet and assist staff.

This way the planners are given transparency in a time-critical environment. In addition, the system proposes task combinations whenever it is possible; for example, in the case of several passengers that can be assisted by a single employee concurrently, resulting in a more efficient use of staff and a better service to the passengers.

Groundstar, developed by INFORM, supports the planning, on-the-day, and administrative functions of every area of airport and ground handling in both the terminal and the ramp, individually and as cohesive turnaround processes. The system is structured in streamlined core modules that cover resource planning, rostering, realtime management, customer relations management, and an Airport Operational Database (AODB).