In early 2015 Manchester Airport again chose In-CarPC to provide on-board computers for its fleet of airside passenger buses, replacing the existing computers which In-CarPC had provided in 2008.
The computers are used to record - and transmit to airport staff in real-time via 3G - vital data about each bus journey as passengers are transported between the airport and aircraft on remote stands.
In-CarPC's computers are used in Manchester Airport's airside passenger bus fleetThe data mainly concerns the times at which the following events take place:
- The bus arrives at the gate to collect passengers
- Passengers start boarding the bus
- The bus leaves the gate
- The bus arrives at the aircraft
- Passengers start boarding the aircraft
- The bus leaves the aircraft
- A security check is carried out
This information is vital to the Airport as it is used to prove that service level agreements (SLAs) with the airlines have been met. For example, if there is a delay in boarding a particular aircraft and the Airport can prove that their bus arrived at the aircraft on time then the delay is clearly due to some other factor that is not the Airport's fault, such as the aircraft not being cleaned on time, or the airline's handling agents not delivering the steps on time. Being able to prove that the bus arrived on time, within its SLA, prevents the Airport from incurring a fine.
Andy Willis, the Airport's Transport Manager for Buses, said "We equipped our airside passenger bus fleet with In-CarPC's computers in early 2008, and these units have been providing excellent service over the last 7 years. The time has come to renew these units and it was an easy decision to stay with In-CarPC. We have been very well looked after since the initial deployment in 2008 and the hardware has proven itself by operating reliably over many years in a very harsh environment.
"We considered many different device types to find the solution that would best suit us going forwards. As in 2008, we came to the conclusion that In-CarPC's fixed in-vehicle computers are the best fit for our operation, and we look forward to continuing to work with In-CarPC for many years to come.
"The bus computer system has saved us a lot of money because it gives us accurate and reliable data. We use the data not only for SLAs but also to generate valuable statistics and performance figures. How much time, how many buses and how many trips does it take us to load a Boeing 747 with 451 passengers? We know exactly by looking at historical data, which is invaluable for forward planning. By using the data generated by In-CarPC's computers we have achieved a reduction in airside bus movement."
In a new development some computers will also be used to track the number of passengers transferring between terminals, with this information being fed into an automated passenger notification system for real-time status updates about the next bus due.
The Manchester Airports Group Plc is the country's largest UK-owned airport operator, serving around 42 million passengers every year through London Stanstead, Bournemouth, East Midlands and Manchester Airports.