Greener and more efficient handling at Brussels Airport
Ground handling company Flightcare Belgium, along with Imec spin-off Essensium from Leuven, Belgium, has implemented a unique solution for real-time status management and exact position determination of its motorised handling fleet at Brussels Airport. The new technology provides important advantages for the airport and its stakeholders, including more efficient and environmentally friendly aircraft handling and more accurate flight information for passengers. The project is part of the 'smart logistics' programme managed by the Provincial Department of Development of Flemish Brabant (POM Vlaams-Brabant).
For the pilot project, which has just been completed, Flightcare Belgium equipped its full fleet of Nose Wheel Lifters with the new tracking system. Before departure, Nose Wheel Lifters tow an aircraft from its parking place to the taxiway. By lifting the nose wheel, the machine is more quickly prepared to drive to the runway.
In the near future, Flightcare plans to extend the application to other vehicles in its fleet, such as the transport belts which are used when loading and unloading the aircraft.
Through sensors and CAN-bus interfaces, the system not only provides information on the position but also on the operational status of the vehicles, which is an important added value. This real-time information, four position and status updates per second, about the ground equipment can immediately be processed by airport administration. As a result, passengers quickly receive accurate information about expected departure times.
Additionally, this transparent information on the status of ground equipment supports Flightcare Belgium's participation in the Airport Collaborative Decision Making project of Eurocontrol, IATA and ACI (Airports Council International). This project aims to achieve the most efficient use of airspace by means of a proactive and standardised information exchange about ground activities at participating airports.