Playing God with GSE

TBD now manufactures all of our Ground Support and Maintenance equipment with mounting brackets specifically designed for RFID and GPS locators.

It is known that around 70% of all flight delays are caused by problems with inefficient turnaround of aircrafts at airports. Outside of weather and technical issues the main culprit is ground handling of baggage, freight and passenger on/off boarding, as well as pushback readiness or equipment availability. The idea of tracking each bit of equipment from tugs to baggage dollies came around some years ago and has steadily been incorporated by airlines, airports and 3rd party service providers alike to better manage ground operations. It was rightly assumed that if you knew where all of your equipment was and in what status you could ensure minimised delays in service by having the right tool at the right place at the right time. This feature has revolutionised ramp availability for units that are instrumental in the turnaround of aircraft trying to maximise the amount of sectors that can be flown in a day.

This simple tracking has now evolved in line with the Internet of Things concept, with a whole range of active telematics sensors being applied to GSE fleets.

Now fuel usage including idle shut off, hours run time, driver identification, impact sensing, fault code readers are all available, combined with the associated analytics software for a full fleet data overview.

The immediate advantages to using such systems are many, and full immersive uptake of the technology is a matter of when not if. Some of the benefits are listed below:

  • Safety – Units can track aggressive driving, seatbelt usage and proper start up sequences with right driver identification. Combined with unit maintenance monitoring, ramp accidents and improper use scenarios are falling.
  • Fuel Reduction – With each motored unit being actively tracked for run time as well as having remote shut off when not moving, associated fuel burn for operations is minimised. This is helped by knowing where the optimum located asset is for a required job.
  • Electric optimisation – Being able to understand battery level, charge times, and where the charging stations are with spots available, is integral for efficient green operations.
  • Maintenance cost – As with the aircraft itself, active health monitoring of the engine and dynamic components can highlight repairs that are needed before costlier failures or unit down time.
  • Paperwork – Many of the tracking solutions also offer paperless approval/certification storage that can also highlight maintenance schedules and warranty alerts allowing for better regulatory compliance.


Picture from GSETrack