UFIS Airport Solutions (UFIS-AS) has been awarded a contract by Aeroporti di Roma (AdR) to support them in providing services to persons with reduced mobility (PRM).

The new application enables handling agents at the airport to plan and dispatch staff for the PRM service using UFIS-AS’s resource management system. Aeroporti di Roma (AdR) is one of the first airport companies in EC to introduce IT support for the planning and allocation of resources to provide the necessary services. The application will also provide the functions to gather status information on the services and to provide data for KPI measurement to ensure that the service levels required are met.

The main driver for this project was the EC regulation 1107/2006 which will come into full force in July 2008. The regulation stipulates that airports will be required to provide assistance to Persons with Reduced Mobility (PRM) to enable them to make the same use of air transport as people who are not disabled. These special services provide assistance in boarding and disembarking from the aircraft, check-in, baggage handling and transport within the airport area.

Information technology can be an effective means by which such service provision can be optimized. Within its Universal Flight Information System (UFIS®), UFIS Airport Solutions has included specialized features to help provide these services efficiently, from the perspectives of both the service provider and the recipient.

UFIS interprets the load telexes (or the new passenger assistance list) to determine which flights need PRM support and how many passengers will require which form of support. Also, flight and non-flight related requests for PRM support can also be sent by the passengers themselves via the Internet or from kiosks or terminals at locations within the airport.

Based on the information from the airlines and the passengers themselves, the Resource Management System (RMS) application will generate a staffing requirement based on the flight schedule, the times for the requested service and staff qualifications required to perform the necessary services. Depending on where the service needs to be performed the task can be assigned to a particular pool of staff situated at an appropriate location.

The system maintains a database on the various employees showing their availability and qualification with relevant contact details. In addition, the RMS is also used to schedule the equipment necessary to perform the different services.

Planning is the first part of the application. The second part is providing the actual service. During actual operation, the individual employees in the PRM service department will be informed of the tasks they need to carry out and can enter the status of the tasks using PDA applications provided by the UFIS-AS’s local partner Softlab. These applications communicate with the server via IBM’s WebSphere MQ.

First estimations from AdR are that the system will be used to manage approximately 300 people to carry out more than 150,000 services per year. Therefore it is crucial for the proper functioning of this company to have the equipment and the manpower planned accurately. Giosue Camereri, head of AdR operations, a key user of the UFIS RMS and the PRM project manager, sees the new application as a must and was pleased to have UFIS-AS’s and its local partner Softlab’s commitment to the project.

“Other airports within the European Community will face the same challenge in the near future,” said Anders Sagadin, UFIS-AS’s President and CEO. “We are happy to deliver a functionality which helps AdR to provide the best possible assistance for persons with reduced mobility. We hope that other airports will follow AdR’s example and take advantage of our new solution.”