Smartwatches enhance productivity for airport workers in Singapore

Singapore’s Changi Airport has implemented a smartwatch solution for use by airport technical ramp personnel.

The new tool was designed to streamline on-ground processes and enhance communication and productivity for employees of SATS, a provider of airport ground handling and in-flight catering services at Changi Airport. Through the smartwatch, tech ramp workers can obtain real-time job and task notifications on-the-go, reducing their reliance on older technology like walkie-talkies.

The mobile solution was developed by IT services, consulting and business solutions provider Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), together with SATS.

“In an industry that is becoming ever more competitive, constant innovation and productivity gains are essential,” commented Alex Hungate, SATS president and chief executive officer. “In deploying smartwatches and leveraging the Internet of Things, we not only drive greater efficiency but also reimagine the role of the tech ramp technician.”

Before the smartwatches were introduced, SATS tech ramp agents would need to physically visit the control centre to check rosters and receive updates regarding ad-hoc changes. Communication around operational changes was also conducted manually, either by reprinting updates or via walkie-talkies which, given the level of noise at airports, can be difficult, TCS explained.

TCS also worked with SATS to build a new IT solution for the revamped Tech Ramp Control Centre at the airport.

Real-time GPS is used to monitor the movement of ramp agents via their smartwatches, and the latest information — such as updated schedules and instructions — is pushed out instantaneously across all devices from the control centre.

Another advantage of the new technology is that it allows SATS to track and monitor performance. For example, by capturing the start and completion time of each task, the company can obtain data which informs the detailed planning needed to ensure flights take off and land safely and on time.

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