Berlin Brandenburg International Airport (BER) will open on 31OCT20, after years marked by mismanagement and ill planning.
The management assures that right from the outset, there will next to no aircraft damage caused by ground equipment such as loaders, passenger bridges or deicing vehicles.
With the start of flight operations, the management is convinced that there will be hardly any aircraft damage caused by vehicles or ground equipment such as uploaders, passenger bridges,
catering vehicles and others. This confidence is due to the deployment of a new device that has already been in use since last week and which should save airlines, airport equipment providers
and, not least, insurance companies a lot of money.
We are talking about a “Smart Trainer.”
The module, the first of its kind in a technical advanced series, was manufactured by North Rhine-Westphalia-headquartered specialist Schrader-T+A-Fahrzeugbau and managed by Berlin-based ground fleet equipment provider HiSERV.
The construct resembles an aircraft fuselage, used by fire brigades and ground handling personnel at airports, to train suppliers, simulating the loading and unloading of an aircraft, maintenance processes, and rescue operations in a realistic environment. Thanks to its multi-functionality, not only can many different scenarios be simulated and practically trained, but the success of the measures and individual learning curves can also be closely monitored.
Less damages expected
Based on the dummy, apron staff can practice without risk how to approach an aircraft with equipment such as high loaders for getting containers or pallets in or out of aircraft, water service units, conveyor belt vehicles and other airport ground equipment to secure the integrity of aircraft and the machines. “Thanks to the practical training enabled by the simulator, we considerably reduce the risk of damaging the hulls or engines of aircraft,” emphasizes Roland Ueckert, Managing Director of HiSERV GmbH & Co KG. His company purchased the unit from manufacturer Schrader-T+A after the BER management gave their green light for the learning program.
"The smart technology allows us to train all conceivable scenarios and to prepare the ground personnel optimally for their demanding job," adds Daniel Langner, head of the Aviation Ground Equipment’s department at DEKRA, who is responsible for the technical monitoring of the simulator.
Driving insurance expenditures down
The BER management points out that the ‘Smart Trainer’ is an important component in guaranteeing quality and safety for the airport’s customers. “We are convinced that regular training will enable us to significantly reduce the number of damage claims and further increase the speed of handling," says Klemens Krys, aviation consultant at BER. "The successful cooperation with HiSERV has made it possible to identify potential problems even before the airport opens and to solve them before operations begin," he states.
If so, it should satisfy insurance companies as well. Less damage means less expenditures.
Because of the many and frequent damages of material and airplanes at airports, insurance premiums have reached gigantic heights. Even worse, there are now only two insurance companies in Europe that are willing to issue policies for airport ground handlers. Should an engine or the hull of an aircraft be damaged unintentionally but severely by handlers, insurance payments exceeding one million euros are no exception.
Now, BER’s management hopes that the “Smart Trainer” will massively lower the insurance costs and conversely notably up the service quality.
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