Passenger demand continues to rise at airports around the globe. According to past World Airport Traffic Reports, which were produced by the Airports Council International (ACI), pre-pandemic passenger traffic was posting year-over-year growth rates. The ACI is forecasting passenger traffic to completely rebound to (2019) pre-pandemic levels as early as 2023.

To address this growth trend, Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport (SAV) began the process of replacing its outdated software systems to improve communication, workflow, and asset management. To do this, the airport contracted with Woolpert to implement Trimble’s Cityworks Asset Management Solution (AMS) and align its airport and airfield operations.

The implementation, which began in early 2017 and was completed in December 2017, continues to support the airport’s service requests, logbook entries, work orders, and inspection workflows; promotes preventive maintenance, corrective maintenance and reactive maintenance; and provides a record of historical data.

Mobile Workflows

As part of the implementation, SAV wanted to make the transition from an office-centric system to one that operated via mobile device. Before the implementation, SAV employees would come into the office, check a mailbox for daily assignments, fill out associated paperwork, head out to the field to complete the task at hand, and return to the office to record that job as complete.

Now, SAV workers receive and complete work orders digitally, by phone or tablet, while in the field. The Cityworks mobile app puts real-time information right in the palms of their hands.

“The entire airport staff touches the system in one way or another,” said Eric Risner, Woolpert geospatial project manager. “With the airport’s growth, establishing one efficient, economical system will benefit SAV in the short and long term.”

Reaping the Benefits

The SAV staff and the implementation team already lauded improved workflows between departments, increased safety for travelers, and more constructive contact between tenants and airport administration.

“Cityworks has excellent capabilities in GIS integration, performance indicator reporting, visualization of work, tracking costs associated with work, project budgeting, and forecasting,” said Jessica Smith of the Savannah Airport Commission. “We were able to create and customize inspections critical to our operations.” 

Data within SAV’s Cityworks system also is being analyzed to identify trends and patterns to further support preventive maintenance. For example, if multiple lights are malfunctioning on a runway, the system helps identify whether additional investigation is needed to identify a larger problem.

SAV staff took advantage of other software features they hadn’t originally expected—such as tracking wheelchair passenger transport, operating an internal IT help desk system, and preparing for inspection components with the help of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS). Staff members are also planning to implement Cityworks Storeroom along with Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology to track inventory, consolidate tasks, and automate workflows.

Key features of the SAV implementation include:

  • Electronic logging of Part 139 inspections
  • Automated Part 139 report
  • Ability to share data with FAA inspectors before they arrive on site
  • Wildlife strike forms
  • Logbook entries to capture items such as escorts and flight diversions
  • IT ticketing system and server maintenance
  • Complete mobile capabilities
  • CitySourced integration for tenant service requests
  • Automated reports illustrating historical work and associated costs
  • Heat maps to help staff recognize underlying issues in problem areas
  • Extensive KPI reports for airport management
  • Failure code reporting for facilities, vehicles, and equipment based on ISO 55000 asset management best practices
  • Preventative maintenance scheduling for facilities, grounds, and vehicles with attached standard job plans.

By Ryan Butler, geospatial senior system analyst, Woolpert

Photo: Woolpert deploys an unmanned aircraft system (UAS) on the grounds of Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport as part of the integration of the tools for airport operations and asset management.


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