Geographic information systems (GIS) consultancy Aspire Solutions continues to provide Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) with geospatial tools and ser- vices to improve airport efficiency.
Since the inception of ACSA, GIS has provided it with services such as safety management, noise management, property and commercial management, aviation charting and emergency and security management solutions.
“As an example, GIS plays a crucial role in wildlife management at airports, which is a key aspect of safety,” says Aspire Solutions MD Mike Steyn. “Birds and other animals need to be discouraged from congregating in areas designated for aircraft movement and encouraged to move to nonrestricted areas.”
To achieve this, ACSA is involved in an ongoing wildlife management programme, which includes active patrols of the airfields to help ensure the safety of aircraft and passengers. To do this, the company needs bird and wildlife statistics such as bird distributions and counts, species identification, frequency of incursion into safe areas, as well as recorded evidence of patrols by wildlife officers.
Aspire Solutions developed a Wildlife Management System, which uses the core GIS maps on mobile devices carried by wildlife officers. This enables ACSA to track and manage wildlife on the airfield and make informed decisions about ways to improve safety management.
Aircraft noise control is another important aspect of airport management.
“Aspire Solutions has mapped all related info, such as flight paths and predicted noise contours, and public noise complaints, and added this to the GIS, which enables ACSA to use this information for designing future standard approaches and departures to the airport.”
“Overall, GIS systems are beneficial to airports, as they improve spatial awareness of items such as infrastructure development, maintenance, engineering, emergency management, commercial endeavours and safety,” says Steyn.