The PRM (Passenger with Reduced Movement) process had encountered difficulties due to a surge in passenger numbers and challenges in recruiting staff.
Develop Consulting were engaged to address these issues, with a primary objective of reducing operational risk and achieving a 98% ECAC (European Civil Aviation Conference) score for improved efficiency in assisting arriving aircraft within 20 minutes.
The Passenger with Restricted Movement (PRM) process was stretched to its limits post-Covid, due to the increase in returning passenger numbers against the backdrop of struggling to recruit new team members. Since the previous summer there had been a further influx of new starters at all levels of the PRM 3rd party service provider. The summer was predicted to see a further 40% increase of PRMs. The new team, increase in PRM volumes and the budget pressures meant that there was a level of risk identified going into the summer of not meeting ECAC requirements. With the continuing growing PRM numbers the operation was going to fail to achieve its objectives.
The new management team didn’t have a full grasp on understanding their business daily performance, with no daily or monthly plans in place, which meant they didn’t no where to focus their efforts to drive change.
Our team were asked to eliminate the summer operational risk and to increase the ECAC score to 98% for arriving aircraft to be met within 20 minutes. We were asked to understand the true process and performance, and then to implement opportunities for improvements, increasing the teams capacity, and instilling robust daily management processes.
Understanding the problem
Develop Consulting analysed passenger and staff data across summer and winter months to understand journey variations and completion times. Standard journey processes were timed and mapped in detail, enhancing stakeholder and staff understanding. The operational risk was quantified based on this data, leading to eight recommendations to reduce the risk. Develop Consulting were then employed to implement those improvements for the summer operation.
Our team observed and supported the PRM operation throughout all operating hours, particularly during the busy afternoon peak and late-night arrivals. Daily performance management routines and KPIs were introduced, allowing cross-functional stakeholders to review the previous day’s activities and morning performance. Improvement opportunities were identified and implemented, fostering a continuous improvement mindset.
Leading the new General Manager to stabilise and improve the operation
Amid significant management changes, Develop Consulting collaborated with the new team to resolve immediate issues and tackle more complex improvements. We improved the allocator’s role, streamlined communication, and issued staff rosters three weeks in advance. A roadmap for future success was created, establishing Develop Consulting as a trusted advisor, to both the airport and its business partners.
Extending the forecasting horizon
We developed tools and processes to extend the PRM team’s forecasting outlook from a few days to over two months. Dynamic rostering eliminated pinch points and improved resource utilisation. Working with the airport-embedded agency, we designed optimised shift patterns and resourcing for the summer months.
Quantifying risk – reducing stakeholder concerns
Through daily operation performance boards and clear guidance, we accurately quantified the operational risk, allowing for targeted risk mitigation efforts and demonstrating enhanced control to stakeholders. Cross-functional teams collaborated to minimise potential impacts.
Advising on tendering, contract and budgeting
Our in-depth operational knowledge informed improvements to the tri-yearly tendering process and recommended metrics for annual continuous improvements. We also produced a detailed data-based budget for the upcoming financial year.