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Optimising aircraft turnaround time
-a TCG Digital service offering

Debabrate Ray


Optimising aircraft turnaround time is a critical task for airlines looking to maximise efficiency and minimise costs. Delays in turnaround time can lead to lost revenue opportunities, as well as increased costs associated with aircraft operations. According to industry estimates, up to 15% efficiency can be achieved in current turnaround processes and technologies.

One of the most significant contributors to turn around delays is refuelling, accounting for a whopping 56% of all such delays. The typical cost for turnaround operations for a B737 is $70/hour.The good news is that a 25% uplift in refuelling efficiency can reduce turnaround time (TAT) by up to 3 minutes, which can translate into significant cost savings for airlines.For airlines with a fleet size of around 500 aircraft, reducing cycle time by 4-6 minutes can free up 2-3% of the fleet, potentially leading to cost savings of between $30-75M through TAT optimisation.

But how can airlines achieve these efficiencies? Our breakthrough solution for TAT Optimization offers significant benefits to both airlines and airports. By reducing the cost of operations and minimizing ground time, our solution enables better aircraft utilization and provides opportunities for airlines to operate on newer routes, ultimately leading to increased revenue opportunities for both airlines and airports. It utilises real-time feeds from airport cameras at gates, analysing video feeds in real-time through advanced AI/ML algorithms over a scalable cloud platform. The system analyses moveable and immovable objects on the tarmac, such as luggage carts, trolleys, cargo, fuel trucks, tugs, catering trucks, cleaning staff and equipment, and other objects, to determine turn events that could delay TAT. The system also generates pre-configured alerts and notifications to enlisted subscribers. It provides true Omni channel customer experience via state of the art dashboards
Recently my team and I were discussing how to help our clients unlock the value of their industrial and manufacturing data. These industries often wrestle with terabytes of time-series data from a myriad of sensors, machines, processes and external sources. Each data source could potentially include different features with various formats, have non-rationalized time intervals and be generated from various proprietary technologies. The challenge of making this data available on a platform where workers can exploit the data and discover its hidden value can be overwhelming. Here is where the vision of AI Democratization often hits its first significant roadblock.

Managers who are tempted to feel elated at the prospect of having access to all the data they could ever wish for, soon realize it is a data sword of Damocles* hanging by a thread, ready to snap and bury them if they can’t find a way to unlock its value.
Richard Westall’s Sword of Damocles, 1812
* The parable of the sword of Damocles teaches us that no matter how good someone’s life may appear, it’s difficult to be happy living under existential threat.
The solution landscape

The backbone of TCG Digital’s solution is built on AWS infrastructure. Video feeds from gate cameras at airports are captured using AWS IoT Core and published onto Kinesis Video Stream. The Orchestrator running on ECS Fargate consumes the videos and uses a pre-trained inference model running on an EC2 instance to generate turnaround events. It then publishes those events onto a Kinesis Data Stream. A Lambda function consumes these events and mutates them to an AppSync API to be displayed on the turnaround dashboard. A rules engine built using Step Function analyses the events and raises alerts in case of any potential delays.

In conclusion, TCG Digital’s TAT optimisation solution is a game-changer for airlines looking to improve efficiency, reduce costs, and enhance the passenger experience. By reducing turnaround time, airlines can increase revenue opportunities, operate more efficiently, and provide a more seamless travel experience for their passengers.

The solution backbone