Onsite Evaluation of your PRM Operation – Limited Availability

Onsite Evaluation of your PRM Operation – Limited Availability

 

As a Service Provider, Airport or Airline, you need to benchmark your PRM Operations (1)

Airports, service providers and airlines already face major challenges with PRM handling and the projected growth of this segment will only increase pressure on their entire PRM framework.

Ozion Consulting (2) will visit you to review your PRM operations and help you transform your challenges into opportunities.

Ozion Consulting’s world-class PRM Service Evaluation Matrix covers the following and more:

  • How well do you understand current PRM Service operations?
  • What is your organizations role in the process and what are your strengths and weaknesses?
  • How well do you control each passenger order(s)?
  • How well do you understand opportunities offered by the PRM business model?
  • What role can technology play in enabling you to take back control of your PRM operations?
  • How good a job are you doing of serving each passenger and supporting your staff?
  • How meaningful is your current reporting?
  • If you work in many locations, do you have a consolidated global view of your PRM passengers?

 

In short, the service evaluation will cover these key areas:
    • Operations/Resources
    • Data
    • SLAs
    • Technology
    • Reporting and much more in your 150-point Ozion Consulting PRM Service Evaluation.

We will provide you with a list of your operational strengths as well as the shortlist of key improvement areas from which you can expect the biggest impact on your operational performance.

 

SIGN UP HERE

 

      • (1) PRM: “Passengers with Reduced Mobility”, also referred to as “special assistance passengers”
      •  (2) Ozion Consulting is the service arm of Ozion Airport Software, the publisher of the leading PRM software platform that is changing the way PRM services are piloted in real time at large, mid-sized and small airports through a mix of smart software and visionary operational practices that make the most volatile airport service manageable and predictable

 

 

If you have any questions please contact:

William L. Neece | Director of Airport Solutions
Ozion Airport Software
Europe : Paris Office
2, passage de la gare
92420 Vaucresson, France
Office: +33 (0)1 47 01 32 75
Mobile: +33 (0)6 52 21 32 60
eMail : wneece at Ozion-Airport.com
www.Ozion-Airport.com

Highlights of the 3rd Annual “Airport PRM Leadership Conference”

Highlights of the 3rd Annual “Airport PRM Leadership Conference”

 

Over 50 leaders in Airport PRM (Passengers with Reduced Mobility) from 15 countries came together in Paris to share the latest best-practices and innovations that are rapidly transforming the challenging field of global airport PRM Assistance. It was a joyful and intense sharing experience that brought together airport assistance stakeholders, from airports, passenger advocacy groups, assistance providers, airlines and civil aviation authorities.

The jam-packed agenda also included ample time for delegates to share and network.

It is impossible to share all that the speakers presented at the Airport PRM Leadership Conference, but here is our best attempt to give you a small view into the vision and direction that were shared.

Collaboration is Key

Collaboration is Key

Roberto Castiglioni (Chair, Heathrow Access Advisory Group) reminded us that effective innovation can be “No Tech” citing the sunflower lanyards actively changing the awareness and behavior of those who come into contact with passengers with hidden disabilities.

Céline Jacobs, who heads PRM assistance at Charleroi Airport shared the successful journey the airport undertook over the last 3 years to bring the PRM activity under firm control in the face of exceptional passenger growth by deploying a mix of new software, practical realism and solid organization. PRM is no longer viewed at Charleroi as a permanent source of operational trouble, now it is a reliable and predictable, quality service.

Bonnie Hayes of American Airlines shared the inspiring goal of the Airline to be recognized as the leader in serving passengers with reduced mobility. The session showed clearly how identifying challenges and actively fostering change stands to turn American Airlines’ goal of being the preferred carrier for customers with disabilities into a reality.

James Fremantle of the UK Civil Aviation Authority reminded us of the dizzying growth in assisted passengers. The UK has seen a stunning 47% increase in PRM passenger growth between 2010 and 2017. James also explained how the CAA created an annual report ranking UK airports with over 150 000 PRM passenger a year, using “Reputational Regulation” to drive improved performance through increasingly detailed measurements.

Dee Thomas and Mark Hicks of Wilson James joined Bonnie Hayes and Roberto Castiglioni for a lively Panel discussion on PRM Growth. Examples of solutions discussed included industries working together, streamlining overall passenger flows, the importance of the recruitment process to select staff that have natural caring skills and concentrating on aircraft/airport design in order to better accommodate assisted passengers.

Laurel Van Horn of Open Doors explained how her organization is improving the quality of assistance service at airports in the USA through disability awareness training of airport and PRM personnel.

Yummy Ozion

Delicious!

Dawn Huddleston of Portland Airport, shared with us how Portland PDX has been named Best Domestic Airport for the 6th year in a row for cleanliness, safety, customer service and accessibility. She explained how the airport has rooted its success in “living its values” in an uncompromising way – Leadership, Inclusion and service. Everything it seems has been done with assistance service in mind: guide dog training and animal relief stations, ubiquitous white paging phones to provide the information to blind passengers, recognition of employees who extend outstanding service to PRM passenger, entertainment accessibility such as an inclusive movie theater, etc.

WHILL on Display

WHILL on Display

Satoshi Sugie, CEO of WHILL, designer of innovative mobility devices called Electric Vehicles (“EV”s) that replace most wheelchairs, explained how attractive self-driving EVs can overcome several big common headaches faced by all airports: the labor cost of recovering lost or stolen chairs, preventing their theft and effectively reducing the number of passengers who request special assistance when all they need is the former much lighter “MAAS” service.

Alexandre Desch, a renowned Change Management expert, reminded us all that even highly effective new technology, software and new processes require a mindset reset among special assistance staff and management to take hold over time and yield their promised benefits.

Last but certainly not least, William L. Neece, Director of Ozion’s airport solutions, shared how PRM service performance outcomes have been transformed and now serve as best practices for airport PRM service delivery. William showed how this is not just being brought about by a new generation of software but also by the shift in mindset required to generate successful operational outcomes. In addition, he stressed how using live data can secure not just every passenger journey but also safeguard airports’ overall daily operations as well as the highest quality SLA’s.

It was truly an event for the record books and we thank all of the wonderful presenters and Airport PRM Leaders who attended.

Now the planning for the 4th Annual Airport PRM Leadership Conference held in November 2019, begins: stay tuned…

 

For more information or if you would like Ozion to evaluate your current PRM operations, please contact:

William L. Neece | Director of Airport Solutions
Ozion Airport Software
Europe : Paris Office
2, passage de la gare
92420 Vaucresson, France
Office: +33 (0)1 47 01 32 75
Mobile: +33 (0)6 52 21 32 60
eMail : wneece at Ozion-Airport.com
www.Ozion-Airport.com

Last Call – Final Registration – Airport PRM Leadership Conference

Last Call – Final Registration – Airport PRM Leadership Conference

 FINAL OPPORTUNITY: REGISTER NOW

Airport PRM Leadership Conference
Friday, November 9, 2018 – 8:45 am to 6:00 pm
Crowne Plaza Charles de Gaulle Airport, France

 

 

The most important PRM topics facing us all today will be covered at this year’s conference: Improving Operations, Transparency, How to handle ever growing PRM Passenger numbers, Keeping costs under control, Reliable reporting and more…!

Seize the last remaining places to join leaders from airports, providers and airlines for frank, clear discussions about the latest PRM (Passengers with Reduced Mobility) best-practices, innovations and solutions.

Together we will explore the most recent case-studies of PRM Operations who have successfully taken back control of their special assistance services while improving quality in the face of relentless PRM passenger traffic growth.

The PRM Leadership Conference brings together all the stakeholders involved in special assistance services:

 

Airports

Service Providers

Airlines

Oversight Authorities

Advocacy Groups

Conference topics at a Glance:

 

  • How a fast growing medium sized Airport has Taken Control of it’s PRM Operations
  • The Ozion way: Operational and Reporting Excellence
  • Best practices at PDX from the Reduced-Mobility Passenger Perspective
  • Training PRM Teams to Manage Operations in a Completely New Way
  • Transforming large Airport PRM Operations
  • WHILL – Beyond Personal Mobility (Including a live Demonstration)
  • Disability Awareness Training: Effective Strategies
  • Making aviation more accessible:
    the United Kingdom Civil Aviation Authority’s role in Encouraging Innovation and Best Practice
  • Accessible Services for All, and much more…

 

Presenters from around the Globe:

Roberto Castiglioni
Chair
Heathrow Access Advisory Group, UK

James Fremantle
Consumer Enforcement Manager
United Kingdom Civil Aviation Authority

Bonnie Hayes
Analyst, Customer Service
Policy & Procedures – Airports
American Airlines, USA

Satoshi Sugie
CEO
WHILL, Inc., Japan

Dee Thomas
Director of Aviation
Wilson James, UK

Mark Hicks
Strategic Account Director – Airport Operations
Wilson James, UK

Céline Jacobs
PRM Manager
Brussels South Charleroi Airport, Belgium

Alexandre Desch
Change Management Consultant
KEAZ, Create Teams & Real Leaders, France

Laurel  Van Horn
Disability Travel Specialist
Open Doors Organization, USA

Dawn Huddleston
ADA Coordinator
PDX, Port of Portland, USA

William L. Neece
Director of Airport Solutions
Ozion, France

 

 

The conference is free of charge, your Registration includes:

All Presentations
Lunch
Afternoon Wine/Networking Reception

Space is limited, Reserve your place now:

First name (required)

Last name (required)

E-mail (required)

Phone number (required)

Company (required)

Country (required)

Role (required)

Please add below your biggest PRM Challenge and/or what you would most like to learn more about at this years conference:

 

 

 

 

For more information, to schedule a Demonstration or request Ozion evaluate your current PRM management system, please contact:

William L. Neece | Director of Airport Solutions
Ozion Airport Software
Europe : Paris Office
2, passage de la gare
92420 Vaucresson, France
Office: +33 (0)1 47 01 32 75
Mobile: +33 (0)6 52 21 32 60
eMail : wneece at Ozion-Airport.com
www.Ozion-Airport.com

Airport Passenger Accessibility Operations to Be Tackled at the 3rd Annual Airport PRM Leadership Conference

Airport Passenger Accessibility Operations to Be Tackled at the 3rd Annual Airport PRM Leadership Conference

12th October, 2018 - The 3rd Annual Airport PRM Leadership Conference will be held at Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport on November 9th. The conference will focus on solutions for providing special assistance to Passengers with Reduced Mobility, especially understanding and controlling the challenges. Attendees will include managers involved with PRM (Passengers with Reduced Mobility) from Airports, Service Providers and Airlines all looking for operational best practices and agreed upon reporting outcomes.

PRM, short for the service tasked with providing special assistance to Passengers with Reduced Mobility covers a wide range of situations from passengers who are unable to move unassisted to passengers nursing a temporary condition through those who can walk but are challenged by stairs, long distances, etc.

Delivering PRM services in Airports continues to carry a heavy price tag. This is because Accessible passenger growth by far outstrips overall passenger growth: + 7 % to + 15 % a year. In Europe taxes are used to pay for the service are levied on the airlines, not the assisted passengers themselves.Ozion Airport PRM Sitting

This poses a serious challenge to airports, airlines and service providers because humans are so unpredictable. For instance, assisted passengers who do not pre-book service can account for 30%-50% of the whole on any given day.

In short, the rising numbers of passengers and limited operational or known historical data can put the airport and the passengers at risk.

The conference tackles these challenges in several ways, notably in a new frank, open and practical data-driven holistic approach, understanding what the challenges with the existing PRM services are and embarking on a journey to bring PRM service outcomes under firm control.

Through the sharing of combined wisdom, analysis of what doesn’t work, what does work and why and bringing together the combined solutions from airports, PRM passenger advocacy groups, service providers, airlines and airport supervisory authorities.

The conference is expected to focus on the real-life experience of those who are learning to or have already managed to put their airport passenger with reduced mobility operations under control. All of this in order to show the way to all those who want their PRM service to become fit-for-purpose sooner rather than later.

Charleroi Airport will share how it is managing to keep up a high level of service while experiencing amazingly fast growth. In the same light, The CAA (the United Kingdom Civil Aviation Authority) will share how it is encouraging innovation and best practices. Other presenters will share how they have engineered various solutions to help deliver real operational gains. On the technology side, an overview of how to reach trusted and traceable data that gives real airport-to-airport performance comparisons; (“apple to apple” vs “apple to orange”), essential to truly understanding the airport PRM landscape.

In addition, this year’s conference will showcase presentations from the Heathrow Access Advisory Group, American Airlines, WHILL, OpenDoors, KEAZ, and Ozion; who will provide a hands-on tutorial on how operational control is achieved through collaboration, smart planning and the right tools.

 

Space is Limited, Register Now…


(Includes all sessions, Snacks, Lunch & Afternoon Wine Reception, there is no fee for qualified attendees)

First name (required)

Last name (required)

E-mail (required)

Phone number (required)

Company (required)

Country (required)

Role (required)

Please add below your biggest PRM Challenge and/or what you would most like to learn more about at this years conference:

 

 

 

For more information, to schedule a Demonstration or request Ozion evaluate your current PRM management system, please contact:

William L. Neece | Director of Airport Solutions
Ozion Airport Software
Europe : Paris Office
2, passage de la gare
92420 Vaucresson, France
Office: +33 (0)1 47 01 32 75
Mobile: +33 (0)6 52 21 32 60
eMail : wneece at Ozion-Airport.com
www.Ozion-Airport.com

Airport PRM Leadership Conference, Registration Closing Soon

Airport PRM Leadership Conference, Registration Closing Soon

 SPACE IS LIMITED: REGISTER BELOW!

Airport PRM Leadership Conference*
Friday, November 9, 2018 – 9:00am to 6:00pm
Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport, France
*The event is free of charge: Includes all sessions, plated lunch and the afternoon wine/refreshment networking reception.

Airport PRM (Passengers with Reduced Mobility) challenges continue to rise for small, medium and large airport operations.

While there are many differences between airports when it comes to PRM operations (size, infrastructure, work legislation, etc.) many challenges are shared by all.

Join PRM leaders from Airports, Service Providers and Airlines who will share key dimensions of today’s PRM best practices in workshops that will focus on real World solutions to the daunting challenges faced in Accessible Service Delivery.

We are very excited to share such a diverse and inspiring assembly of speakers this year:

 

 

Ozion Speakers

In addition to all the exciting topics from the speakers above, Ozion will take attendees through key essential actions you need to do to bring your PRM operations under control and what you can do to apply them in practice when you go back to your airport in terms of operational organisation and real time PRM management.

 


Reserve your space here:
(Includes all sessions, Snacks, Lunch & Afternoon Wine Reception, there is no fee for qualified attendees)

First name (required)

Last name (required)

E-mail (required)

Phone number (required)

Company (required)

Country (required)

Role (required)

Please add below your biggest PRM Challenge and/or what you would most like to learn more about at this years conference:

 

 

 

For more information, to schedule a Demonstration or request Ozion evaluate your current PRM management system, please contact:

William L. Neece | Director of Airport Solutions
Ozion Airport Software
Europe : Paris Office
2, passage de la gare
92420 Vaucresson, France
Office: +33 (0)1 47 01 32 75
Mobile: +33 (0)6 52 21 32 60
eMail : wneece at Ozion-Airport.com
www.Ozion-Airport.com

3rd Annual “Airport PRM Leadership Conference” – Speakers Announced

3rd Annual “Airport PRM Leadership Conference” – Speakers Announced

The third annual Airport PRM Leadership Conference will bring leaders from Airports, Service Providers and Airlines together to explore solutions and best practices that improve service for accessible air travel.

Airport PRM Leadership Conference
Friday, November 9, 2018
Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport, France

Confirmed Speakers:

Satoshi Sugie
CEO
WHILL, Inc., Japan


Roberto  Castiglioni
Chair
Heathrow Access Advisory Group, UK


James Fremantle
Consumer Enforcement Manager
United Kingdom Civil Aviation Authority


Bonnie Hayes
Analyst, Customer Service
Policy & Procedures – Airports

American Airlines, USA


Dee Thomas
Director of Aviation
Wilson James, UK


Mark Hicks
Strategic Account Director – Airport Operations
Wilson James, UK


Céline Jacobs
PRM Manager
Brussels South Charleroi Airport, Belgium


Alexandre Desch
Change Management Consultant
KEAZ, Create Teams & Real Leaders, France


Laurel  Van Horn
Disability Travel Specialist
Open Doors Organization, USA


William L. Neece
Director of Airport Solutions
Ozion, France


 

 

Valuable Content:

This year’s conference will bring together an amazing group of speakers at the leading edge of the PRM (Passengers with Reduced Mobility) service. Each with highly valuable, actionable, messages in their area of expertise.

Hands-On Immersion:

By popular demand this year we will showcase a 100% practical, master demonstration of how to apply the latest best practices to successfully take control of your PRM operations.

Together, we will discover how leading airports now manage to improve their service and sustain excellent performance over time, while putting not more, but much less pressure on staff.

Places are limited, register now for your place at the 2018 Airport PRM Leadership Conference.


Register Now: Places are limited!


(Includes all sessions, Snacks, Lunch & Afternoon Wine Reception, there is no fee for qualified attendees)

First name (required)

Last name (required)

E-mail (required)

Phone number (required)

Company (required)

Country (required)

Role (required)

Please add below your biggest PRM Challenge and/or what you would most like to learn more about at this years conference:

For more information, to schedule a Demonstration or request Ozion evaluate your current PRM management system, please contact:

William L. Neece | Director of Airport Solutions
Ozion Airport Software
Europe : Paris Office
2, passage de la gare
92420 Vaucresson, France
Office: +33 (0)1 47 01 32 75
Mobile: +33 (0)6 52 21 32 60
eMail : wneece at Ozion-Airport.com
www.Ozion-Airport.com

Alexa Hink joins Ozion as International Project Manager

Alexa Hink joins Ozion as International Project Manager

Alexa Hink joins Ozion with a mission to execute Ozion’s fast paced growth

We are excited to announce that Alexa Hink has joined Ozion from a career in project management in innovative aviation technology and sensitive civilian nuclear power projects in Europe and North America.

Alexa’s mission is to oversee Ozion’s commitment to bringing its airport PRM clients the best possible direction and guidance from pre-installation, secure airport launching and post launch project management.

Alexa comes to Ozion with an enviable track record in the project management of mission critical projects. She hails from Canada where she majored in engineering at Queen’s University before gaining the renowned MBA in Aviation Management from Toulouse Business School and the PMP Project Management Certification.

Alexa brings a refreshing results-driven mindset gained through experience in both mission-critical projects as well as implementing new technologies. She gained invaluable experience at the aviation start-up accelerator and innovation consulting firm Starburst. This gave her enviable first-hand exposure to how to bring innovation to market while avoiding pushback in civil aviation.

Alexa started her career at Ontario Power Generation where she learned the crucial aspects of managing a service that simply can’t be allowed to go wrong. These skills are directly relevant to the challenge of getting PRM operations to work seamlessly in a volatile environment where the costs of letting the service slip are unacceptable.

Alexa enjoys traveling, having visited 6 continents and over 90 airports around the Globe. She is also an avid sports enthusiast and of course celebrates great wine!

Please join us in extending a warm welcome to Alexa.

Register Now for the 2017 Airport PRM Leadership Conference

Register Now for the 2017 Airport PRM Leadership Conference

 

SIGN UP TODAY TO BE SURE YOU CAN ATTEND AS SPACE IS LIMITED

On November 10th 2017 Ozion will host the Second Airport PRM Conference at Roissy Charles de Gaulle Airport.

Ozion Breakfast

Enjoy the Breakfast of PRM Champions!

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

We will address essential questions facing the sector in presentations, workshops, one-to-ones and during meals or breaks.

These questions include:

– Why is PRM such a devilishly hard service to deliver well (quality, time, budget) from the point of view of all concerned parties – PRM passengers, associations, airport supervisory agencies, airports, providers and airlines)?

– What has changed very significantly that now makes it possible to run PRM operations that satisfy all the parties involved

– New case studies of airports who have cracked the PRM conundrum presented by the people who implemented new effective solutions themselves

– Focus on how it is now possible to get and share live all the reliable, trusted SLA and KPI data everyone has been asking for for years and stop playing with incomplete, unreliable and unrepresentative time-consuming Excel exports

Ozion Paris

After the Conference Visit Paris

– How live PRM collaboration between airport, provider and airlines is fundamentally changing the daily outcome of PRM operations

– Results of the June 2017 Industry Survey on what the sector considers the main PRM challenges for the primary parties involved


Sign-up up now for the event to make sure you can attend as places are limited !

First name (required)

Last name (required)

E-mail (required)

Phone number (required)

Company (required)

Country (required)

Role (required)

Please add below your biggest PRM Challenge and/or what you would most like to learn more about at this years conference:

 

 

 

 

For more information, to schedule a Demonstration or request Ozion evaluate your current PRM management system, please contact:

William L. Neece | Director of Airport Solutions
Ozion Airport Software
Europe : Paris Office
2, passage de la gare
92420 Vaucresson, France
Office: +33 (0)1 47 01 32 75
Mobile: +33 (0)6 52 21 32 60
eMail : wneece at Ozion-Airport.com
www.Ozion-Airport.com

2017 – Airport PRM (Passengers with Reduced Mobility) Survey

2017 – Airport PRM (Passengers with Reduced Mobility) Survey

Help your PRM airport community better understand our biggest collective challenges today!


Below, simply rate the 10 PRM problems in the list below to indicate how big a concern they are for you:
« 1 = Not a problem », « 2 = Small problem », « 3 = Problem », « 4 = Important problem » and « 5 = Major problem »


(*) = Airport passengers service professionals tasked with supervising PRM delivery, PRM provider staff, airline staff closely concerned by PRM service levels, bodies representing PRM passengers, airport supervisory bodies tasked with overseeing the correct provision of PRM services in their respective countries …) 


If you believe we have left out an important problem, please add one or several of your own and rate them in the space provided to that effect the second page of the survey. The goal is to rank the list of the problems that create the biggest headache for PRM professionals today and announce the findings at the PRM Leadership Conference on November 10th 2017 at Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport ( http://www.ozion-airport.com/register-now-for-the-2017-airport-prm-leadership-conference/ registration link).


During the conference: we will ask attendees to share how they think the top 3 problems could be best tackled and will share the results in the first newsletter after the conference.

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Part 1: The changing world of PRM management solutions

Part 1: The changing world of PRM management solutions

PRM Management is the most difficult of all airport services to get right – this article explains why this is the case and why it no longer needs to be.
Original Article published in International Airport Review

Why PRM Management is a crucial yet impossibly complex service for airports to get right – and why things have suddenly started to change?

“PRM”, which stands for “Passengers with Reduced Mobility”, is one of the names used to describe the free service European airports have been legally bound to offer to all passengers with reduced mobility since 2008. All that passengers need to do to get access to the service is to ask for it. Then, they can expect to be taken safely and freely to and from their plane within the airport. Sometimes confusingly, PRM is also known under a variety of other names : “Special Assistance”, “Mobility” and “Wheelchair” services, to mention just three of them.

Though many people work at large airports, only a minority work directly for the airport itself or its airline clients. That is because airports are world experts at outsourcing services on an industrial scale via a wide array of service providers. Most people one sees working at an airport actually work for service providers who have been awarded 3 to 5 year contracts by the airport or the airlines via tenders. These range from “Handlers” who man many of the check-in desks and departure gates at the airport (even if they wear an airline uniform), to baggage, security checkpoint and aircraft turnaround handlers (who see to it aircraft are refuelled, filled with food, luggage and freight, de-iced, etc).

Yet, PRM is fundamentally unlike any other airport service. In fact, it is universally known as the one truly fiendishly complex, if not impossible, service to deliver regularly on time, at the required quality level and according to budget. Industry wisdom has it that if you can run PRM reliably, you can run any service on earth.

What, one may well ask, makes PRM so horribly difficult to master? And why does it matter ?

Let’s start with why PRM is so important. Legally, no plane can be turned around until all PRM passengers have been disembarked – and this can only be done by specially trained personnel employed by PRM providers. Until a qualified agent arrives to disembark the plane’s PRM passenger(s), the plane can’t be cleaned or take on new passengers.

The plane’s next departure slot is at risk as are its daily number of trips objective and the punctuality of all of its subsequent flights. This in turn impacts the airport’s slot schedule. If, as is likely, the plane is late as a result, the cost to the airline for being late to leave its gate will rapidly bite into its profits. One begins to see the severe damage that just one late PRM passenger can make to a plane’s daily schedule. This is even more true for low-cost airlines whose business model depends on faster turnaround times to enable more flights per aircraft per day.

But when things spiral out of control, it isn’t one, but many planes that run the risk of being late. There is also the sensitive question of the PRM passenger’s experience. On the one hand, PRM passengers can suffer greatly as a result of their dependency upon others: when they are late and miss a plane, the impact on them can be many times more traumatising than it would already be for a completely mobile passenger. This is unbearable from a human point of view and dangerous from a PR corporate standpoint as bad publicity can rapidly ensue with dire commercial consequences as the media love to dwell on such incidents.

Second, why is PRM so hard to master ? The answer is that it is a fundamentally unpredictable activity.

The very high volatility of the things PRM assistance depends upon on but has no control over threaten to, and frequently do run havoc with the daily activity: change of gate, switch from jet-bridge to ambulift boarding/un-boarding, SSR type change (classification of the degree of mobility of a passenger ), volume of last-minute un-notified “ad-hoc” passengers, no-show passengers, to mention a few. The pressure rises all the time like milk about to boil : weather provokes delays, accentuating the situation. A large plane comes in with 10 unannounced PRM passengers. Others planes land without their notified PRM passengers showing up, preferring on second thoughts to do without assistance. And so on.

One begins to understand why running a PRM service at a large international airport is not for the fainthearted: it is a little-loved service that frequently turns to disaster from the point of view of passengers, airlines, the airport and the company providing the service. All have learned to fear PRM. If this sounds excessive, consider the following :

  • The majority of large airports in Europe are not capable of providing reliable, traceable basic SLA data that give a true picture of the actual service being delivered. For example, most large airports usually have no reliable answer to apparently simple questions such as “how many PRM passengers used my airport’s PRM service last year” or “How many PRM jobs” were late last year?”
  • Neither the airport nor the provider they appoint through a tender know the true cost of the PRM service because they don’t have the necessary information : they don’t know the real number of PRM passengers who will be provided an actual PRM service. This regularly results in the Provider realising he grossly underestimated the workload and having to degrade the service level well below the defined target level to reduce his costs and avoid losing money and/or having to stop his activity; in the airport having to agree to higher prices mid-contract or see the provider being shut down.
  • Many PRM pre-notified passengers never turn up (a passenger who requested PRM assistance when they booked their flight may change their mind when they land because they feel good enough to proceed alone  while forgetting to inform anyone). These “no show” PRM passengers can represent 14 % of the PRM passenger total – at a large and reasonably-well organised international airport !
  • Many turn up at the airport PRM assistance desk requesting help even though they didn’t “pre-notify” the airline as they are supposed to 36 hours before their flight. Yet, the airport and therefore the provider, is legally obligated to assist them, even if the service turnaround time the provider has to carry out the job is increased.
  • Because there is no centralised system shared by airlines, provider and the airport, no-one knows the net balance of PRM passengers who turn up on any actual day. The provider may not tell the airport that the agent sent to collect a pre-notified passenger on an incoming plane didn’t turn up – what is called a “No show” in the industry – because they fear that they won’t be paid for the job as much or even at all.
  • Many passengers’ names requesting assistance appear several times because the same passenger may forewarn the airline, the PRM provider or an airport helpdesk or checkpoint desk, or passengers are entered on the telephone when they present themselves without pre-notification. Multiple entries of the same passenger under a name with slightly different spellings are often not spotted as duplicates because most PRM IT systems neither centralise nor systematically re-duplicate all PRM job orders. This is how service providers often invoice the airport for more jobs than are actually done without necessarily knowing it ! No official format exists for departure PRM jobs, making this type of mistake easier and considerably more widespread than need be.
  • Discrepancies in crucial airline forewarning (36 hours “Pre-notification”) discipline have been tolerated with the bad performance of some airlines going on lastingly unchallenged. The result is that the service provider’s job of “sizing” their daily activity (determining how many agents they will need to carry all the expected PRM passengers on the day) is impossible to get right. How can you reliably deliver a service when you don’t know if you will have 1 000 or 600 PRM passengers on the day ? Yet 30 to 40 and even 50 % variations between the number of pre-booked PRM jobs and the number turning up on the day are standard.
  • This is because the service provider has to accept people who turn up on the day requesting assistance without having notified their airline previously. If I am feeling tired, have difficulty speaking the language spoken at the airport, orientating myself in a large airport, I am entitled to request assistance for free even if I just turn up un-announced on the day – says the law in Europe. Such passengers are called “ad-hocs”. They are the reason some airlines pre-notify 80, 90 % of their PM passengers while others pre-notify as little as 30 % without this number being rare.
  • Recently, some airports have begun charging airlines with poor pre-notification scores more for the service than they do disciplined airlines, but poor pre-notification performance remains widespread. This impacts PRM passengers with severe mobility restrictions most because the influx of passengers with no or very slightly impaired mobility absorb precious agent resources that should be focused on helping those whose condition really requires their timely, expert assistance. Though, this is ethically and economically unfair, it has gone on largely unchallenged for years.

These challenges are magnified by demographic trends such as an ageing and increasingly overweight and therefore less healthy, population.

This is apparent in the numbers:

PRM passenger growth everywhere is dramatically outpacing overall air travel growth : when large European airports register 3 % annual passenger annual growth, their PRM growth is usually in the 10 to 15 % range. This may sound marginal – it isn’t. It means airport will see their PRM passenger traffic double every 4 to 5 years! The consequences of this discrepancy on PRM passenger service is dramatic because the airport tax that finances PRM services is levied on airlines on the basis of overall traffic growth, not PRM traffic growth.

You would think that faced with such dynamics most airports would take the bull by the horns and take strong measures to ensure PRM services are managed to a particularly high level, would rein in the poor discipline of airlines with dismal pre-notification records, ensure crucially important IT systems are chosen to absorb the activity’s structural unpredictability and accelerate active collaboration between airlines, airport and service providers to slowly but surely improve service outcomes. What has happened in the last few years has been the opposite – denial : “everything is just fine” airports would and still say publicly as the situation deteriorates. This situation is now widely understood by many national airport supervisory bodies in Europe, organisations who represent PRM passenger’s interests and many airport-user exchange groups.

The good news is that things have recently taken a dramatic turn for the better. A few visionary airports have recognized that the traditional model of PRM service provision is broken, unsustainable and very costly in human, financial and reputation terms. They have taken dramatic action with the results starting to show the massive benefits of getting it right. As the omerta about poor service starts to give way and some airports show how things can be dramatically improved, the whole scene is starting to change rapidly. Such airports include Paris Airports CDG and Orly, Brussels airports and now Oslo airport where visionary and forward thinking teams at both the airport and provider level decided it is time to make PRM work effectively.

Thanks to what these forward-thinking airports have done and proved with their very real trusted data, all airports can now quite easily and rapidly deploy major initial implementations in just 3 months.

Part II of this article will come out in the next issue of your PRM Newsletter at the end of June. It will focus on how the particular difficulties that characterize airport PRM services covered in Part I can now be addressed successfully with a host of practical examples. Airports who have opened their eyes to the very real challenges faced by their PRM service delivery teams will now know that the effective, practical and proven answer to their hopes exists – and that nothing prevents them adopting it to finally get the consistently reliable PRM delivery they, their passengers, contractor’s agents and airline clients all want.

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