Singapore will spend S$35 million (US$25.99 million) on two projects to improve its airport staff’s productivity, it announced on Friday.

The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) and Changi Airport Group (CAG) will set up a S$20 million (US$14.8 million) WiFi network covering all aircraft stands and parking at the airport.

The wireless platform is meant to encourage airport companies to implement new innovations and improve productivity in operations.

The first adopters will be ground handling and catering companies dnata and SATS, and the SIA Engineering Company.

They plan to expand the number of mobile devices for staff from the current 1,000 to 3,500. Ground staff will have access to real-time data and work instructions on these devices. This will allow them to find information and respond to operational changes faster, CAAS said.

The WiFi will also allow staff to track the location of equipment in real-time, allowing them to better manage resources like vehicles.

The network will cover all airport parking areas at Terminals 1 to 4, and remote and cargo aircraft stands.

CAAS also announced a S$15 million (11.1 million) fund to encourage airlines to adopt self-services for passengers. It will award grants between S$400,000 and S$2.5 million to airlines that implement self-service at its check-in kiosks, baggage drop and boarding gates.

This will help airlines reduce the number of ground staff required for these processes, who could be redeployed to other passenger services. Jobs of 2,000 passenger service staff will be redesigned as a result, CAAS said.

”The funding support CAAS has committed for the two programmes will augment CAG’s ongoing efforts at enhancing operational efficiencies and passenger convenience at Changi Airport,” said Lee Seow Hiang, Chief Executive Officer of CAG.

“This will realise greater efficiencies in existing areas such as aircraft servicing, while enabling new capabilities like location tracking and video streaming,” he added.

Image by Nan-Cheng Tsai, licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0