A guide to the digital apron, and what it means for airports

When improving any organization in the 21st century, data is one of the first things to consider. This is especially the case for making the most of modern airport operations. Learn more about what the “digital apron” is, how to make the most of the opportunities data has to offer and the benefits of using data in a more proactive manner.

What is the digital apron?

The digital apron is a system that makes use of new surveillance technologies, data analytics and existing airport systems as a means of ensuring the most efficient aircraft turnarounds possible. By taking all available information and collating it, airports are able to process incoming planes and clear the next flight for take-off much faster. Because of this, the digital apron plays a significant role in improving the efficiency of airports, increasing the overall capacity of the airport and boosting revenue.

The benefits of using the digital apron

There is a wide range of benefits of using a digital apron in an airport. Each of these not only ensures that the airport works more effectively but improves the passenger experience too. Just some of the benefits of an effective digital apron include:

• Faster turnarounds: Passengers get off and on their respective planes more quickly and efficiently.
• More responsive airports: Having leeway in timing means that airports have the ability to respond to volatile levels of traffic.
• Higher revenues: More efficient airports take more flights and generate more revenue, which can be invested back into the passenger experience.

As you can see, the digital apron ensures that an airport functions more efficiently, which brings a range of fringe benefits with it. This is especially important in countries anticipating significant increases in demand and is the reasoning behind Hamad International Airport’s trend towards digital services ahead of the World Cup in 2022.

Technologies supporting a digital apron

There is a selection of different airport technologies playing a key role in creating a digital apron and supporting efficiency in an airport setting. These include:

• Visual Guidance Docking Systems (VDGS): Faster docking means faster processing of airplanes.
• IoT Implementation: IoT equipment throughout terminals helps with tracking and guiding foot traffic, making passenger journeys smoother.
• Remote Control Tower: An agile remote-control tower uses runways in a more efficient manner, making the most of the space available.

Why is a digital apron important?

Previously, if an airport sought expansion, it could buy the next chunk of land over and use that for a new runway or terminal. However, increasing urbanization means that land around airports is at a premium. A digital apron gives airports the ability to increase their output without expanding their footprint. Increases in efficiency lead to increases in productivity, so airports see the gains they would make from expansion without having to make a single change to their buildings and infrastructure.

Contact Bayanat Engineering Qatar

If you’re interested in learning more about the digital apron and the systems involved, contact the Bayanat Engineering Qatar team today to learn more and create more efficient airport solutions