The allocation of tasks for crew buses at Lufthansa LEOS’ Frankfurt Airport has been conducted by German-based company INFORM’s disposition system, GS RealTime, since 2001. Before then, it had taken place without knowing the exact position of buses. GS GroundFleet is now in operation and helps to increase transparency.

The system uses geographical information to locate and track crew buses, as well as monitoring aircraft-on-stand and the exact position of crew buses with its AirportMap. Buses are equipped with onboard-units (OBUs) that receive and transmit GPS information. The visualisation is true to scale and location is accurate to 10m.

On behalf of Lufthansa, Lufthansa Engineering and Operational Services is responsible for taking crew members to and from the aircraft at their Frankfurt Airport operation. This requires a high degree of punctuality and safety.

"The increasing number of passengers is a challenge for disposition: At present we have to handle 1,100 tasks per day; up to 20 crew buses are in use at the same time," said Lufthansa Engineering and Operational Services project engineer Sascha Adrian.

"GPS tracking and the integration of this information in the disposition process gives us the possibility of optimising trip distances and minimising empty trips, which ultimately leads to increased cost effectiveness and less environmental impact. In this way, we are able to offer high quality service in terms of punctuality, regularity and comfort."

Around 30 crew buses are equipped with OBUs, which will be rolled out to towing tractors soon.