2019 “Airport PRM Leadership Conference” –  Date Announced!

2019 “Airport PRM Leadership Conference” – Date Announced!

The fourth annual Airport PRM (Passengers with Reduced Mobility) Leadership Conference is poised to be the best and most informative so far! Join fellow leaders from Airports, Service Providers and Airlines who, together, are all focused on solutions and best practices that improve service for accessible air travel.

Airport PRM Leadership Conference
Friday, November 8, 2019
INNSiDE Hotel
Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport, France

 

Each year, the conference expands on the last. This year we will hear from experts throughout Aviation:

  • Airports
  • Airlines
  • Service Providers
  • Regulatory Bodies
  • Trade Associations
  • Accessibility Experts
  • The latest evolutions in PRM Management Software, and much more…!

Mark your calendar now, you may also register below if you would like to guarantee your registration (space is limited).

 

For more information 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 from 2018:

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.

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

“Innovation Showcase” Launches at Annual Airport PRM Leadership Conference with WHILL

“Innovation Showcase” Launches at Annual Airport PRM Leadership Conference with WHILL

Ozion is very excited to bring a new theme to our annual Airport PRM Leadership Conference, it is called the “Innovation Showcase”. This year we are proud to present Satoshi Sugie, CEO of WHILL, maker of intelligent Electronic Vehicles, who will be presenting during this inaugural Innovation Showcase. In addition to the presentation, we will also have a live demonstration of the Model Ci!

WHILL’s mission addresses a key airport need: the ability to offer passengers requiring special assistance a state of the art Electric Vehicle (EV) to give them enough autonomy to navigate the airport with independence.model-ci-featured-image-2

“We are not happy simply bringing innovation within our own endeavors, we want to foster innovation in the PRM sector by bringing attention to valuable innovations” said William L. Neece, Director of Ozion Airports. “I can’t wait to see, touch and hear how WHILL can also help transform the Airport PRM environment”.

The number of PRM passengers requiring assistance at European airports is typically growing at 7 to 15% a year vs 3% for overall passenger growth. As a result, airports need to devote ever more resources – people, equipment, money – to deliver on their PRM obligations.

By empowering PRM passengers who can choose to use autonomous EVs, WHILL effectively frees expert PRM agents to focus on taking good care of passengers with higher service needs.

A simple way to address the needs of a large number of special assistance passengers without having to devote a dedicated resource to them, is to offer a smart Electric Vehicle they can drive autonomously from the departure area to their boarding gate or from their airplane to the exit using automatic or simple manual navigation aids.

 

2018 “Airport PRM Leadership Conference”
Location:   Charles de Gaulle Airport, Paris

November 9th, 2018
Time:          8:45am to 5:30pm

Space is Limited, Register Here

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

Register Today – 3rd Annual Airport PRM Leadership Conference, Paris CDG on November 9th, 2018.

SPACE IS LIMITED, REGISTER BELOW

In addition to a direct focus on the use of technology to ensure the passenger journey and airport operations we will focus on Airport PRM (Passengers with Reduced Mobility) Best Practices.

How have some airports brought their PRM operations under firm control whereas others suffer or, worse, struggle?

Yes there are some real differences between airports when it comes to PRM operations: size, infrastructure, work legislation, airport PRM tax level, role of airport supervisory authorities, to name some of the obvious ones.

But, more importantly, a clear picture is starting to emerge of the characteristics shared by those airports that consistently do well.

The purpose of the Conference is squarely for each attendee to understand the essential actionable operational techniques used by those airports that have brought their PRM operations firmly under control and to take hope with them actionable operational practices :

 

  • In what key ways do airports who have cracked the PRM challenge use their PRM software to control their daily PRM operations?
  • How are they organized ?
  • What data and dashboards do they use to achieve this, monitor and report in real time their compliance with PRM SLAs and KPIs?

PRM leaders from Airports, Service Providers and Airlines will have the opportunity to share key dimensions of those best practices in workshops that will focus on the above topics with experts who have “cracked the PRM challenge” themselves.

The minutes of the of the workshop takeaways as well as the core learnings from speakers’ keynotes will be distributed to attendees (under copyright) after the conference.

The 3rd annual conference will go beyond theory: it will be about the shortlist of essential things you need to do to bring your PRM operations under control and how you can do apply them in practice when you go back to your airport in terms of operational organisation and real time PRM daily management using advanced PRM software.

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


Sign-up up now for the event to make sure you can attend as 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

How can you Turnaround a Failing Airport PRM Activity?

How can you Turnaround a Failing Airport PRM Activity?

This is a question we hear often « offline »: we will explore many of the answers at the November 10 Airport PRM Leadership Conference held at Paris CDG airport (see Conference registration link elsewhere in this newsletter). A workshop and a presentation will provide answers to this « burning » question to all those attending the conference.

PRM (Passengers with Reduced Mobility) is the one fiendishly difficult service to get right at medium and large-sized airports across the Globe. Usually outsourced airport services such as aircraft handling, cleaning and baggage handling are relatively easy to get right. The underlying reason is simple: they are essentially predictable services whereas the PRM environment is structurally volatile, requiring a dedicated approach.

As this begins to be understood, consensus on best practices and on what constitute the the key success factors to get a PRM service to work reliably are beginning to appear. One of the goals of the upcoming airport Airport PRM Leadership Conference that will be held at Charles de Gaulle airport on November 10th, will be to aggregate and enrich the body of answers to this increasingly crucial question for airports, PRM providers and airlines.

Why is PRM structurally volatile?

First, let’s begin with a short primer on why the airport PRM environment is such a highly volatile service: much of what a PRM operator depends on is difficult or impossible to predict. This shifts the onus from planning perfectly to developing the effective ability to address surprises as they arise throughout the day, thereby turning a thoroughly unpredictable activity into a reliable one.

Poor pre-notifications, large and unpredictable ad-hoc passenger turnouts, large amplitude of departing passengers’ arrival times at the airport, last minute gate changes, incorrect initial SSR Passenger types, planes that often neither arrive or leave on time, irregular human productivity from one agent to another, erratic screening times, suspect baggage incidents, diverse PRM passenger behaviour (some passengers are happy to go to their gate without visiting duty free or the toilets, others not) … More than any other service, PRM operates in an environment with an exceptionally large range of variables upon which PRM operators depend to successfully deliver the service – but have little or no control over.

Compare this with a comparatively stable activity like ground-handling. In ground handing, the number of planes to turn around and the jobs to be done during a turnaround are so predictable as to seem to be cast in stone in comparison to PRM operations (same tasks, same task execution times … the only unknown is the plane arrival time!).

Denying the exceptional underlying volatility of PRM operating variables is possibly the main reason why this service has been a consistent headache for most airports to date. Know your enemy and don’t underestimate him. In PRM, the enemy is the exceptional volatility of key operating variables. To put things right after years of frustration, it would seem essential to make the right diagnostic as to why things haven’t worked as expected to date. From there, one can build on firm foundations. This is what Ozion offers.

Solutions?

How to make things work will be discussed during the PRM conference with attendees getting a copy of the full body of answers produced during the 10th of November workshops. Key PRM operational Key Success Factors included :

• Receiving messages and processing them so that orders are reliable, complete and well understood at the same time as duplicates are eliminated

• Pre-notification improvements through education and by applying less favourable (because slower) EU SLA to ad-hoc Pax

• Finding a way to generate a real-time picture of a complete PRM activity allowing the PRM operator to see everything easily and to track problems so as to work with those who created them to diminish their frequency

• Listening and working with experts on the subject representing PRM passengers point of view

• PRM applications that modelize PRM operations and make everything work well from bullet-proof message reception and transformation into reliable job orders to ultra-smart dispatching and complete, reliable activity visualisation and production of traceable data

• Real time collaboration between the provider, airlines, handlers and the airport

• Educating the airlines

• Helping providers implement these conditions to succeed

• Etc.

As often, getting PRM right begins with awareness of the challenges and then facing up to them by working to fit the pieces of the solution puzzle into place to manage the activity predictably to the benefit of all, from passengers to agents, airports to providers, airlines to the government agencies tasked with overseeing it.

Some major airports such as Paris CDG airports have cracked the PRM conundrum by addressing most of the problems in a seamless web of solutions. We can learn from them and others!

 

 

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

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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