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AR glasses to quicken Changi Airport's ramp handling operations

Nurdianah Md Nur | Sept. 6, 2017
Almost 600 of its employees are undergoing training for this initiative, which is expected to be fully implemented by mid-2018.

Singapore changi airport control tower at dusk
Credit: Changi Airport.

Augmented reality (AR) glasses will soon be commonly used at Singapore's Changi Airport for ramp handling operations.

SATS -- Changi Airport's ground-handling provider -- expects this initiative to improve the accuracy and efficiency of baggage and cargo handling, so as to shorten loading times by as much as 15 minutes.

The smartglasses will allow SATS' ramp handling staff to scan visual markers found on baggage and cargo containers without additional gadgets. They will then be immediately provided with details such as weight, unit number, loading sequence and the allocated position within the aircraft.

The AR glasses will also enable the ramp smart control centre to gain a real-time view of on-ground processes. With the see-what-I-see feature, flight controllers within the control centre can better supervise and provide instructions to operators on how to handle cargo with special handling requirements.

Besides that, the ramp smart control centre will also have enhanced oversight of the loading process, which will enable greater flexibility in manpower management.

To ensure successful implementation, SATS will roll out the AR glasses in phases, with full deployment expected by mid next year.

SATS is also providing training to almost 600 of its employees who will be affected by this initiative. It will leverage virtual reality technology to simulate accurate on-ground scenarios within a safe and controlled environment, allowing staff to train without disrupting their work schedules and ground operations.  

"With passenger demand forecast to double by 2035 to 7.2 billion air travellers , we are preparing to handle more passengers, aircraft and airfreight. SATS is embracing technology to handle these volume increases in an innovative, sustainable way. By introducing augmented reality to our ground handling operations, we are improving services for airlines, passengers and airfreight shippers," said Alex Hungate, president and chief executive officer, SATS.


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