Delivery at Heathrow – How could AiQ Consulting have helped?

We are in the privileged position of having a great team here at AiQ, and even more so when we are joined by new recruits that bring with them useful and enlightening experience and case studies. Adrian Stratta, who has recently joined the team, is one of those individuals. We’ve been lucky enough to get an overview from him of one of his recent projects, with an indication to where potential uplift could have been achieved had AiQ applied their tools and insight.

In 2008, The Go Ahead Group had two ground handling companies; Aviance UK, were operating largely in Terminals 1, 2, 3 and 4, working on full over and under wing handling with core contracts with BMI, Qantas and Singapore Airlines. Plane Handling, the second subsidiary company, also operated at T3, supplying Cargo and Ground Handling. They had a separate organisational structure, contracts and equipment, and their core contract was with Virgin Atlantic.

At that time, performance for all Ground Handlers, especially Aviance UK, was below expectation across UK. Adrian Stratta was brought in by the new CEO of Aviance, to work alongside the CEOs of both companies to review their operations and identify efficiency opportunities.

Both operations sought to retain their independence, yet the major opportunity to create efficiencies was obviously with integration, a fact recognized by CEO of Aviance. However, solutions for one company do not necessarily translate for both, due to structures, contracts, organisational resources and approach. There were also other issues:

  • Both organisations had operations scaled for peak traffic.
  • Each operation had separate GSE, infrastructure, back offices and leadership.
  • Each business had their own independently negotiated contracts and commercials.
  • They largely operated in their own terminals.
  • Aviance UK was also heavily unionized.

Adrian’s initial assessment identified opportunities in both companies’ separate operational and resource planning; before integration options were addressed. Core opportunities were presented within Optimum Manpower planning, GSE allocation, Baggage hall outputs and Security.

These potential solutions for work schedule planning included trialing new tools, demanding synergies between peak flow operations, changing T&Cs, shift patterns and contractual terms. These could all have created efficiencies. He also suggested common management between over and under wing delivery and an optimization of GSE maintenance and repair, and management.

Through this and other procedures (competition between companies for resource, baggage hall, crisis management such deicing, overflow capacity and cargo loading) could be eased and managed. The constant changes between carriers allocated to terminals was also identified as both a challenge and an advantage for synergies between the two companies.

How could AiQ have helped?

AiQ could have added potential uplift to this project by simulating the workflow solutions and movements within all areas of the airport. Using our bespoke 2½D simulation software, Transvision AiR, we would have effectively measured and trialed all of proposals, to give the client confidence in Adrian’s suggestions. This would also give a stronger indication of where resource is needed and could be optimised.

We also have a wealth of knowledge and competencies within airports, especially London Heathrow, and have synergies with the built environment through our partners, Gabler Tooth Architects. Our proficiency in stakeholder management and engagement across all the parties involved, also brings efficiencies, as we have experience in project managing large teams to successful outcomes.

Find out more about our recent case studies.