Simplytrak's AIM: reducing runway incursion rates to zero


Simplytrak’s AIM was Platinum Sponsor of this year’s British-Irish Airports EXPO, taken place on the 22-23 June at ExCeL London. To find out more about AIM, they spoke with Ian Wood, Managing Director, Simplytrak.

Simplytrak is well-known for providing safety and security telematics solutions across industries. The company counts Wickes, Bigfoot Logistics and Practical Car & Van Rental among its telematics clients benefitting from Simplytrak’s tracking and camera solutions.

AIM: Airside Incursion Mitigation is Simplytrak’s solution for the aviation sector. It was developed with the UK’s fastest-growing airport, Doncaster Sheffield Airport, and is now being used across the UK. Indeed, when presented to the UK Civil Aviation Authority, their response was that AIM would be a “significant benefit to any airport”.

“Since installing our safety telematics solution in runway vehicles, the incursion rate has been reduced to zero,” says Wood. “By attending the British-Irish Airports EXPO this year, we were looking forward to meeting airport operators face-to-face again after two years of absence due to COVID. We showcased our AIM solution at our stand where we also had VR entertainment for our guests.”

The key message is that the consequences could be fatal. Wood explained that there are on average 700 runway incursions every year across airports, keeping runway incursions on the Significant Seven key risk areas in the aviation sector (CAA). “Runway incursions could be vehicles, pedestrians or other obstacles on the runway. With AIM, we have developed a solution that reduces the incursion rate to zero.”

Findings from incident and accident reports have been used to determine the new recommendations and associated guidance materials contained in the European Action Plan for the Prevention of Runway Incursions.

Fantastic feedback: “runway safety improved significantly”

Runway incursions are a serious issue every day across airports in the European region. Bespoke to each airport layout, the AIM system includes visible and audible in-cab warnings and switches automatically to the new incursion boundaries in case of LVP (Low Visibility Procedures).

“Installed in all airside vehicles, AIM requires no external communications to alert drivers to potential incursion risks,” says Wood. “This effectively eliminates the risk of incursions from whatever the weather or light conditions. Air Traffic Control can also have full visibility of the actual locations of airside vehicles. AIM is not reliant on mobile networks either. With its innovative design, the in-cab device alerts the driver first and then transmits its data to our cloud-based software platform.”

AIM is currently used at airports including Doncaster Sheffield, Durham Tees Valley, Exeter, and Cork. The feedback has been fantastic.

“Since installing Airside Incursion Mitigation (AIM) to all prime fleet engaged in movement area activities, runway safety has improved significantly with a runway incursion rate for airport vehicles reduced to zero,” said Keith Moran, Director of Operations, Doncaster Sheffield Airport. “Added benefits or real time fleet management and tracking are essential to audits and quality assurance. I highly recommend this as key driver in mitigation and risk to an effective safety system to any airport operator.”

High praise indeed!

Looking ahead, Simplytrak has ambitious plans for the further roll-out of AIM. “We’re looking forward to using the British-Irish Airports EXPO as a sounding board to create brand awareness and test the water regarding other UK airports before expansion into Europe, then gaining traction before promoting internationally,” Wood concludes.