Queensland Airports Limited (QAL) is a 100 per cent Australian owned regional airport specialist. Based in Queensland, the organisation owns and operates Gold Coast, Townsville, Mount Isa and Longreach airports. As part of its portfolio of aviation support businesses, it also owns the Northern Australian Aerospace Centre of Excellence in Townsville, AVIEX (an aircraft maintenance and painting operation) based in Townsville, and Aviation Ground Handling which has a significant presence at five of Queensland’s regional airports.
An abundance of forms
The efficient management and day-to-day operation of any airport involves a lot of paperwork. From flight departures and arrivals to security and baggage handling, there is information that needs to be captured and a myriad of forms that must be completed every day.
Kirsty Ford, ICT Business Services Manager, QAL, explains, “Often the information is double-handled. Field and operational staff fill out a paper form or computer spreadsheet which is subsequently hand delivered or emailed to another staff member so that the data can be keyed into another information system. This may happen several times for a single dataset, not only consuming valuable time but creating multiple opportunities for data to become inaccurate.”
In early 2012, Ford decided it was time to find a better way of managing data capture and data flows. In place of clipboards and paper forms, she wanted to deploy an enterprise mobile platform that could communicate with all mobile devices and enable access to almost any QAL computer system or file. Her aim was to provide staff with a mobile tool that would allow them to read and update data in key information systems such as Microsoft SharePoint and Finance One.
The platform chosen to achieve this was the Blink Mobility Platform, an Australian-developed solution that enables rapid development and deployment of mobile business services. Using the BlinkForms module within the securely hosted platform, Ford planned to develop electronic forms that would enable data to be completed real-time and uploaded directly to the airport’s systems using a variety of commonly available tablets, phones and laptops.