Kloten/Seattle - The Swiss start-up Assaia has helped Saab improve its Aerobahn ground management system at Seattle-Tacoma Airport. Assaia’s ApronAI platform uses computer vision, artificial intelligence and machine learning to report on aircraft operations.

Space is at a premium at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, where the ground management team is now leveraging ApronAI from Assaia, based in Kloten in the canton of Zurich. The platform was integrated into Saab’s existing Aerobahn system at the start of the year. It expands the video analysis functions currently available to the ground management team and components for tracking vehicles on the airport’s so-called apron, where aeroplanes park.

The Assaia module focuses on handling operations and apron safety, while making sure that chocks, people and equipment are all where they are supposed to be, according to a statement from Assaia. It does this with artificial intelligence and by tapping into the video feeds from existing safedock cameras. 

“For example, if a catering truck is late to the gate, we’ll get an alert that it is not where it needs to be,” explains Jason Aspelund, Manager of Strategic Performance at Alaska Airlines, in the statement. “It will also send an alert to catering so they also know when they’re not on schedule.” Furthermore, if input sources indicate that a flight is running late, the system generates a predictive off-block time. This gives the team more time to make accommodations for the gate, staffing and holding of passengers, according to the statement. 

The start-up Assaia was founded in 2018. Since then, it reports that its technology has monitored more than three million operations at over 35 airports worldwide, including Seattle-Tacoma, London Gatwick and Terminal 4 at New York’s JFK Airport. It says that its system has reduced the taxi time to 49 seconds, the aircraft turnaround time by 11 per cent and unsafe behaviour by 60 per cent. ApronAI also reduces CO2 emissions by 31 kilograms per turnaround, according to Assaia.  

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