Ozion Hosts Ground-Breaking Airport PRM Conference at Paris CDG

Ozion Hosts Ground-Breaking Airport PRM Conference at Paris CDG

On November 9th Ozion will host the Airport PRM Conference at Roissy Charles de Gaulle Airport.

The conference will be attended by professionals who oversee or run PRM services for airports and service providers who are looking to improve their PRM (1) operations by sharing their PRM challenges and solutions with their peers.

Paris CDG is an interesting case study: the airport took the strategic initiative of choosing the Ozion PRM Manager software solution while outsourcing PRM operations to 3 service providers at the same time. CDG is also special because it actually comprises 3 airports in one: a large airport (Air France’s Hub in terminal 2), a medium-sized airport (Terminal 2’s ABCD satellites) and a smaller airport (Terminal 1). Lastly, CDG has recently overseen what may be the largest implementation in the world of possibly the most complete and latest PRM-only Web enabled software solution to date.

The Conference will Address Three Questions 

  • What are the main PRM challenges for the primary parties involved: the airport (Passenger Services Director) and the provider (IT, Manager, Dispatchers and Agents)
  • What essential issues must a PRM application solve if it is to « tick the boxes » that really matter to PRM providers and the airport they serve
  • How well does the Ozion PRM Manager application overlap with the map of PRM operational needs

PRM Conference Overview

  • Presentation by the Paris CDG Airport head of Passenger Services in charge of PRM: «The challenges we face and why we decided to adopt Ozion PRM Manager»
  • Presentation by a PRM service provider at CDG: « How we use Ozion PRM Manager and to what extent does it cover our needs »
  • Highlights of the Ozion PRM Manager solution (15 minutes)
  • Lunch : interactive peer-to-peer workshops to discuss and list the main issues faced by PRM service providers and airports to agree on the focus of the forthcoming PRM Survey
  • Visit of Paris CDG PRM Dispatching Command Center
  • Cocktails : Of course !

About Ozion Airport Software

Ozion developed the Ozion PRM Manager SaaS application that Paris Aéroports (formerly ADP) chose to equip all the terminals at its two main Paris airports, Paris CDG and Orly. At Paris CDG, 3 different PRM providers covering different parts of the airport carry out just over a million PRM jobs a year.

Ozion only enters a new market to develop a powerful easy-to-use airport software if 6 criteria are met:

  • a large complex airport-related problem exists that can be solved by an application developed from scratch based on the interpretation of thorough client feedback
  • clients see a high value in an application that overcomes the complexity of the job they want to do
  • no application exists that addresses customer’s evolving set of needs and does so the way they want
  • opportunity to become market leader
  • the solution matters to Ozion’s international airport service provider and airport client base
  • obvious growth potential worldwide

Ozion also develops and sells the Ozion CheckPoint Manager SaaS application that is used by airports and their providers to:

  • accurately size their Passenger checkpoint (called « screening » in the USA) staffing needs
  • arbitrage with the airport in real time between reducing passenger queue times and adding extra staff
  • ensure every checkpoint operation is traceable and time-stamped while allowing the optimal use of available agents by using optimal dispatching

The venue

Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport.

Post Event

Participants will be given access to the PRM Conference web Forum on which they will find:

  • copies of the slides, notes, videos and minutes of the events of the day
  • the contact information of fellow attendees
  • access to the permanent PRM exchange forum where members can meet up, chat and exchange ideas regularly for free

Furthermore, the PRM Survey that will be carried out on the topics chosen by attendees as their list of priority concerns/interest and its results will be posted on the forum when it becomes public.

If you wish more information or to register for the November 9, PRM Paris CDG Conference, please contact William Neece at  wneece@ozion-airport.com or on + 33 (0) 1 47 01 07 06.

Reports on UK Airport PRM Performance Show Progress

Reports on UK Airport PRM Performance Show Progress

This year has seen the publication of two reports on the state of PRM services at UK airports: the CAA (British Civil Aviation Authority) published the « Accessible air travel: Airport Performance report 2015/2016 » while OCS, the PRM service provider familiar at many UK airports including Gatwick, released its « Airport Experiences » report on « How disabled people actually feel about the service they receive ».

Each report is a carefully researched take on the current state of affairs of PRM services in the UK. They show steady progress has been made while they highlight complementary ways of improving the situation for all concerned: PRM passengers, airlines and airports.

The OCS report was based on the views of 534 disabled people gathered over 2015. It can be found on www.challengingforchange.com. As a result, it powerfully projects what PRM Passengers actually feel about the service they have experienced at UK airports.

It highlights several facts that are not widely known: frequent PRM flyers tend to report steady progress in service quality over the years and confidence when travelling. Conversely, PRM passengers who travel rarely are often not aware of the correct booking process and show a « worryingly (high) lack of confidence in the PRM Service » when about to travel. Strikingly, many PRM passengers still don’t know that they must inform their airline 48h before departure.

The first priority for airlines, according to the report, is to get more passengers to pre-book assistance. Another priority it suggests is the need to educate staff to handle Electronic Mobility Aids without damaging them and to create clear guidelines on how to handle them with care. OCS makes 9 practical proposals to improve the PRM passenger experience at UK airports, from dealing with assistance dogs effectively to improving PRM passenger waiting areas as well as communicating with them more proactively during their journey inside the airport (e.g. by SMS to update them on their boarding time).

The CAA report, though it doesn’t so squarely take the perspective of PRM passengers, does provide interesting aggregate figures on their experience. Of the 2,7 Million PRM passengers who travelled in the UK in 2015, 85 % were satisfied (including 59 % « very satisfied ») while 15 % were less that satisfied. It makes the encouraging discovery that satisfaction levels have gone up by 10% over the ten years since Regulation EC 1107/2006 was introduced. This performance is all the more positive when one realizes that the number of PRM passengers went up by 40 % over the period and that crowded airports are a challenge to quality PRM services : the infrastructure isn’t growing anything as fast as the number of PRM Passengers, making the job of taking PRM pax to and from their aircraft more – not less – challenging.

The main initiative the CAA is backing to improve matters further is the adoption of its proposed regulatory PRM performance framework by a growing number of airports. The idea is to « get all UK airports to set, measure and report on their performance against a range of measures relevant to the assistance service.” The framework is supposed to help travelers understand what to expect, thereby reassuring them, and holding airports to account if the assistance level isn’t at an acceptable level.

The CAA has split 30 UK airports into four groups according to their PRM performance level: « Very good », « Good », « Taking steps » and « Poor ». The largest airports in the first category that includes ten airports, are Manchester and Newcastle. Gatwick, Stansted and Liverpool were included in the « Good » list which comprised 7 airports. The largest category, « Taking steps to improve performance », included 12 airports, of which Heathrow was the largest. The « Poor » category included one airport, Edinburgh, that has since improved quite significantly after several changes occurred: Omniserve took over from Amey in January while the airport raised the tax earmarked for PRM services from 18 pence (the lowest in the UK at the time) to 28 pence, which is the UK average.

Overall, it is clear that the fundamental movement in favor of continually improving PRM service levels begun with the introduction of groundbreaking EU regulation a decade ago has achieved a great deal. This is good news for PRM passengers who can travel much more easily and with growing confidence – provided they are informed. It shows the efforts made by airports, providers, airlines have been significant and made a sizeable impact.

The CAA’s article can be found on http://publicapps.caa.co.uk/modalapplication.aspx?appid=11&mode=detail&id=7499

One wonders, now that the « low hanging fruit » have been picked, what it will take to produce further gains in the number of very satisfied customers who account for just over half of the 2,7 million PRM passengers a year of the total (59 %). Better information and standardized PRM processes from airport to airport will buy further improvement. But making further large gains – and keeping them – in a market that, at current growth rates, stands to double every five years, will now depend on the large majority of airports raising their game to the high performance level set by a few. This will require putting into place modern PRM management systems based on comprehensive traceability, a solid real-time visibility on the aggregate PRM situation at the airport and optimal machine-assisted PRM job dispatching. The years ahead are sure to be exciting!

What Experienced Service Providers say They Expect from a PRM Application Today

What Experienced Service Providers say They Expect from a PRM Application Today

Where is the PRM application “grass the greenest” ? When EU regulation EC 1107 / 2006 came into effect 10 years ago, it effectively created the obligation for airports to guarantee passengers with reduced mobility (« PRM ») an acceptable level of service and care. At the time, no software application existed that had been designed expressly to manage the process of taking PRM passengers efficiently to and from their aircraft.

In the vast majority of cases, PRM operations are subcontracted through a tender by the airport to one or several service providers who are usually appointed for 5 years. In a few cases, it is the airport that runs the PRM process (Vienna, Athens and Frankfurt where the airport and Lufthansa formed a joint a venture for this purpose, are examples of this exception).

Service providers could choose from this set of solutions to manage their PRM operations:

  • Use Microsoft Excel or a very basic usually generic application plus the phone
  • Adapt an ERP-type application developed for another purpose (ground handling, rostering, etc.) by tailoring it to PRM
  • Develop their own in-house application (« make » as opposed to « buy »).

During the last decade, several things have changed:

  • The number of PRM passengers grew much faster than the number of airline passengers did (e.g. 40 % in the UK to 2,7 million). At several major airports, PRM numbers doubled or are expected to do so over just 5 years.
  • Airports and airlines discovered PRM could seriously disrupt airport operations by virtue of the fact that a plane can’t be cleaned before PRM passengers have been disembarked by authorized PRM personnel. Also, if PRM passengers are delayed getting to the plane, they may well delay it with all the attendant costs and operational knock-on effects this has on the arrival and departure of other planes.
  • A few airports began to organize themselves well to deliver efficient PRM services in terms of reliability, service levels and perceived passenger satisfaction.

Airports are now mostly awake to the fact that PRM operations that regularly fail to keep up are more than a mere nuisance – the equivalent of « throwing a spanner in the works » preventing the smooth running of their airport. The recent experience at Edinburgh before Omniserv took over and the airport accepted to spend more money on PRM (+ 55 % increase in the airport tax), is testimony to this awareness.

The above has created pressure for other airports to follow suit. Organizations that defend the rights of PRM passengers and public awareness have evolved to make the issue a test of airport’s commitment to quality.

When an airport has a few thousand PRM passengers a year and few transfer passengers, the situation is workable. When airports with above 10 million passengers a year typically have 100,000 to over a million PRM passengers a year, Excel or a basic application plus a phone obviously don’t suffice.

Today, seasoned PRM service providers now have considerable experience of what it requires to run a PRM show efficiently at a large airport and it is safe to say the sector (airports, airlines and providers) are reaching a level of maturity that is driving high and informed expectations from the PRM airport management solution they choose.

So what do PRM experienced professionals at service providers say they expect from an airport PRM Management solution?

When we talk to them, most experienced PRM managers agree on what they need. This is what they say they need with remarkable consistency:

  • To automatically receive all (99%) PRM job orders automatically inside their PRM application: Pal, Cal and all last-minute PRM show-ups that didn’t declare themselves to their airline without any manual entries or changes (no need to look at e-mail inboxes or to call up agents anymore).
  • See the complete list of PRM Jobs automatically decided by the application to be done by whom and when based on the optimal allocation of resources accordingly guaranteeing the leanest, most reliable job itineraries. Know the list of orders is automatically updated constantly to take into account changes such as gate changes, passenger no shows, etc.
  • Automatically allocate to agents the smartest job itinerary in an easy to understand format every time and earn their trust so that they voluntarily enter each time-stamp milestone on their PDA from the start to the end of their journey.
  • Get full time-stamp traceability of every event in practice:
    • to settle daily quality airport inquiries with conclusive evidence in a minute
    • bill reliably and automatically, immediately
    • analyze mistakes to continually improve the overall PRM process (create a virtuous cycle)
  • See in a second, 90% of all the information concerning one flight on one screen (no need to go to several screens to get all the information, especially during peak times. Seeing everything at a glance is what makes it possible to take instant informed decisions in a very fast changing environment (weather, gates changes, etc.)
  • Ability to create all important reports fast, in minutes instead of one or more hours. Complete reports showing all the necessary information(Billing, SSR Type, Wait Times, Pre-Notification, etc.)  giving the airport all it needs and allowing the provider to analyze the situation immediately.
  • A very fast system where everything can be done fast and reliably: large detailed up-to-date reports but also constantly refreshed PDAs and instant job list and detail updates
  • Simplicity, not complexity: software that everyone understands easily and people spontaneously want to use from agents, dispatchers, managers to airport Passenger Services Managers with obvious benefits such as:
    • The system is used (traceability is the result of all information being entered)
    • Onboarding is fast when adopting the system, the first time and when new people need to be trained
  • The right scope: software that has everything that people really need at their fingertips
  • A product that adds obvious value for a good but reasonable price and not an ERP type application that costs a fortune to buy, maintain and evolve.

The impression today is that experienced informed PRM professionals have little difficulty in agreeing on what they want.

It is also seems natural that the software vendor who can satisfy most of their expectations stands to prosper for another simple but powerful reason: the network effect.

PRM software evolves rapidly as its users give their software vendor feedback on what they need and how they need it. With the effective emergence of SaaS solutions, agile customer-centric vendors reinforce their advantage by continually improving their applications without waiting for major releases. That is because SaaS solutions can be continually improved online without users ever needing to install new software versions. The more clients, a trusted SaaS software vendor has, the better its product becomes for users, in a natural positive loop that strengthens user acceptance and product usefulness with every piece of passenger feedback.

Ozion’s creed is that good airport applications can only be made when they are designed closely with customers in order to do one thing very well and simply – and we don’t mean one but many clients. We invite you to compare your own list of hard legitimate expectations from a modern PRM application with Ozion’s solution in detail : we will happily walk you through the comparison using tangible evidence every step of the way : what the application does, how it does it using examples taken from the daily life of current active clients.

Please send us your feedback, comments and ideas and we will voice them in the next issue of the PRM Newsletter.

See the World’s most modern PRM Management Software in action on November 9th: visit Paris CDG’s PRM Command Centers!

See the World’s most modern PRM Management Software in action on November 9th: visit Paris CDG’s PRM Command Centers!

Visit Paris CDG airport’s PRM operations November 9th, to discover how ADP (now called Paris Aéroports as of July 1st) uses the Ozion PRM Manager SaaS solution to manage 1,1 million PRM pax/year.

Paris Aéroports, the operator serving 95 million passengers a year at Paris Charles de Gaulle and Paris Orly airports, decided to take its already well regarded PRM service quality and operational performance to the next level by selecting possibly the most modern and agile PRM application today. The three service providers are all up and running on Ozion Airport’s PRM Manager software platform.


Schedule of the Paris Charles de Gaulle PRM Conference on November 9th, 2016

10:00 am: What challenges was Aéroports de Paris looking to address?

Presentations by the airport & by one of Paris CDG’s 3 current PRM Service Providers:

  • Managing 3 different PRM suppliers at CDG simultaneously:
    – one large & complex section (Air France hub with many transfers)
    – one medium-sized and one smaller section of the airport
  • Enabling operational reliability:
    – 100% automatic electronic entry for every PRM Pax including last-minute show-ups
    – automatic job itinerary breakdown into optimized journey milestones to track each job (“was it done completely and on time section by section?”)
    – 100% visibility of all PRM operations including availability status and location of every agent and Pax at all times
    – automatic SLA compliance measurement displayed on a real-time dashboard
  • Process optimization:
    – self-service wheelchairs + self-boarding + solo baggage autonomy + shuttle use
  • Automatic reliable invoicing determined by:
    – SLA compliance
    – complete jobs (only jobs for which all job milestones have been completed can be invoiced)
  • Upholding PRM service quality despite limited resources in relation to the unpredictable large activity spikes that characterize PRM services
  • Keeping PRM operation costs under control
  • Ongoing developments to be completed in 2016:
    – ibeacon installation and activation to track and optimize PRM operations
    – boarding pass scanning to offer an additional means of entering each PRM Pax into the system electronically without any manual entry to get all their details automatically
  • Q & A (Questions & Answers)

12:30 pm: Lunch & Networking

Ozion will introduce you to representatives from the airport and current Paris CDG PRM providers.

2:00 pm: Guided Visit of the dispatching desks of service providers serving CDG Airport

Ozion and the service providers will give you a guided tour of the PRM Manager Command Centers and they will share with you their experience managing the PRM process in the second largest airport in Europe.

4:30 pm: Drinks


The venue: Reception in the heart of Paris CDG Airport


Have questions?
Want to schedule an Online Demonstration?
Contact William Neece at +33 (0)1 47 010 706 or wneece@ozion-airport.com


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