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Recent headlines from the world of ground support, show airlines adopting: RFID capabilities to speedup the identification of bags; new technologies for washing and deicing aircraft; and, high-tech baggage loading belts to reduce, or even eliminate, injuries. In spite of this, airlines have largely overlooked how automated shift management for below-wing staff can affect key performance indicators (KPIs) like on-time performance, safety and employee morale.
KPIs from British Airways, for example, include measuring how many of its flights “are prepared for departure at three minutes before the scheduled or planned departure time,” which relies on baggage agents, ramp agents, toilet and water services, runway services, cargo handling and ticket desk staff, among others, to make happen. But airline industry insiders say a move to automated shift management has lagged behind other technology adoption because the inadequacies with mostly paper-based systems — while frustrating for managers and workers — is not always a top priority for the airline.