Taking Airport Safety To The Next Level

Simplytrak is uniquely positioned to provide solutions for airports. Our systems combine vehicle tracking, surveillance and runway incursion mitigation.


Airports are busy transport hubs. Take Doncaster Sheffield airport, one of our clients. Almost 1.5m passengers are set to fly this year alone. Thousands of vehicles operate landside and airside. Amongst the hustle and bustle, safety, security and efficiency are top priorities for airport operators. Simplytrak has developed a bespoke tracking and surveillance system – AIM – which is designed to mitigate runway incursion.

Simplytrak’s AIM system prevents runway incursions

When an airplane lands, refuelers, interserve teams, and the swissport teams are moving on the airfield to carry out their jobs. Vehicles have to cross the runway – the area designated for landing and taking-off of aircraft. The UK Civil Aviation Authority has identified “runway incursion” as one of its priorities for safety action.

AIM’s unique geofencing solution was designed with airport runway requirements in mind. The airside incursion mitigation system has the ability to set up zones at any location on the airfield. By using these geo-fences, the system warns management if an airside vehicle is in or near a sensitive or restricted area. It also immediately warns the driver if there is the potential for a runway incursion. They must stop and contact air traffic control.

‘Communication’ is often cited as a contributing factor to incursion incidents. AIM’s system uses a GPS tracking system in conjunction with a GPS-enabled on-board micro-computer that keeps recording and alerting the driver when a zone-breech occurs– even if signal reception fails.

‘Human error’ also leads to accidents on the runway. Simplytrak’s AIM system provides an easy-to-use, accessible software and hardware to minimise the human factor element.

Using cameras to identify problem areas

Airports don’t just have traffic on the airfield. Buses transport passengers and other items landside. Applying on-board vehicle surveillance in the form of cameras can provide visual record of how incidents happen.

Reviewing the camera footage to see why there have been delays or damage to the vehicles can identify problem areas. Data recorded by AIM and the cameras is digitally stored. This provides hugely valuable information to airports from a compliance perspective as well.

Simplytrak’s AIM system incorporates compliance requirements

The list of compliance checks for airports is long. Simplytrak’s AIM system and all tracking and camera solutions provide an easy-to-use digital software that both drivers and management have access to. All data is stored digitally and immediately available to analyse. Ready for the next compliance check.

Using data to change behaviour

Some airports already use telematics to encourage improved driver behaviour and accountability. They present results in league tables highlighting the best and worst performing organisations. Adding a competitive element to the use of telematics has proven to be of great success in the transport sector as well.

Given airport’s specific requirements for safety, security and efficiency, Simplytrak is uniquely positioned to provide solutions.

To find out how our bespoke solutions can help you or to request a demo, get in touch with me.

Using custom maps and high accuracy zoning created specifically for Exeter Airport, the management team can monitor all AIM-equipped vehicles on a screen and can receive alerts when vehicles are speeding, braking harshly or about to enter incursion boundaries.

A low visibility procedure (LVP) mode can be activated during adverse weather conditions at the click of a mouse, ensuring stricter safety operations can be performed and new wider incursion boundaries are used.

What is a runway incursion?

A runway incursion is defined as “any occurrence at an aerodrome involving the incorrect presence of an aircraft, vehicle or person on the protected area of a surface designated for the landing and take-off of aircraft”. AIM is designed to reduce these instances and increase airfield safety.

Runway incursions can occur whenever there is a breakdown in communications or situational awareness at an airport. They can be caused by pilots, air traffic controllers, vehicle operators, or people working on an airfield, regardless of their level of training or experience.

How does the system work?

The AIM system provides airports with a full suite of alerts, alarms and reports that highlights potentially dangerous activities. It also verifies compliance checks and provides the CAA inspectors with full visual playback along with a download of the airside fleet inspection and maintenance activity.

Our CEO Andrew Johnson said: “We’re delighted that Exeter Airport (who are part of the Regional & City Airports Group) have decided go ahead with a full installation of the AIM system following a successful trial. Runway incursions can lead to serious accidents so it’s great to see airports taking steps to reduce the likelihood of such incidents occurring.”

Exeter Airport started their trial in July 2018 and are planning to install the AIM system in across their airside vehicle fleet.

During the trial, we worked with the airport to customise the user interface for the airports particular requirements and the demonstration offered to the management team enabled them to amend their own airside geofence zones to suit their needs.

Exeter Airport has joined Doncaster Sheffield and Durham Tees Valley as the latest UK airport to adopt the AIM system. It’s also currently in advanced trials at Cork and East Midlands airports.