Aimm: ‘Frequently Asked Questions’

  • What is 'Aimm'?  An efficent way to monitor airspace activity and movements, manage risk, reports and landing fees... more detail
  • Can Aimm handle Parking Fees, Fuel Purchases and other aircraft charges? Yes, with no double handling... more details
  • What are the Costs and Benefits? Cost less than most other methods, for more benefits... more details
  • How is Aimm able to do this so economically? By extensive use of data analytics and computer pattern matching... more details
  • How is Aimm different from other systems and methods? Risk management and taking full advantage of 'The Cloud' ... more details
  • How to know if it will suit my Aerodrome?   Discuss the challenges and opportunities that your Airport faces with our Aimm staff.... more details
  • Are Security / Privacy / Radio Regs provisions met? Yes. The Aimm operators are used to high security environments... more details

 

More detail on the above questions:

 

What is 'Aimm'?  A complete Airspace Reporting and Movement Management service for Aerodromes, to help with Risk Management, Compliance, Noise Complaints and Landing Fees.  Aimm has two versions available, to suit different types of aerodrome.

 

1. Aimm-Lite
- For many smaller airfields / airports 'Aimm-Lite' provides everything they need, at an economical fixed cost.   Aimm supplies a recording unit that is plugged into the power and phone line at the Airport.  This records all radio calls 24 / 7 / 365 with a time and date stamp, then analyses, archives, sorts and stores them long term.
A report is sent within one week of the end of each month, showing the number of each type of movement (Takeoff, Touch and Go, Landing), types of aircraft (Plane, Helicopter etc), weights, runway in use, night / day airspace activity, day of week and other information, to the aerodrome for management and reporting purposes.

 

To save unnecessary work and cost at the 'Lite' level of service, the radio calls are autonomously analysed by computer, rather than played back by human operators. The reports produced are detailed enough for current (and known future) reporting requirements of CASA in Australia and CAA in NZ, so it provides an economical way of handling Risk Management, Aviation Authority, and Local Body Compliance reporting for those who do NOT need to bill landing fees.

 

In event of a noise complaint, anyone authorised by the aerodrome managment can listen to radio calls for any period from three years ago to the last few minutes.  This can be done from any computer that has Internet access.  

 

--- Risk Management.   With evolving Health & Safety requirements, it is no longer enough to 'Leave it to the Aero Club'.   The owner of the airport land needs accurate reports, reviewed at regular intervals,  to show that they’re  ‘taking all reasonably practicable steps’ to safeguard staff, pilots, maintenance staff and the public.    

 

If a situation arises that requires more detailed information, Aimm-Lite aerodromes can retrospectively upgrade to Aimm-Plus and have Aimm's Playback Operators playback the old radio calls and enter the movements to produce a fully detailed movement report with every aircraft identified for any period past or current. This is usually requested for situations like:

 

--- Incidents.    At many airfields, a Flying School or Local Aircraft Operator does a good job of the day-to-day management...  but, in the event of an incident you (as land owner) do need to be able to show that you are aware of the changing patterns of Air Traffic usage and have reviewed these to confirm that the facility is being appropriately managed.   When it is time for a review, Aimm sends a reminder with a list of suggested review items for this purpose.   If you do not have Airport Management expertise in-house, Aimm senior staff are available to discuss any points that raise concerns.  This can take the form of a short discussion at no charge, or a full consultancy with written reports at reasonable industry rates.   Aero Clubs / Local Aircraft Operators can provide Aircraft operation expertise but do not usually have Airport Management expertise.   

If requested by the aerodrome (and only then), Aimm operators will send copies of the relevant radio calls directly to an Incident Investigation Authority and certify their accuracy and completeness.

 

--- Compliance / Planning Approval Information. If the airfield / airport's operating consent has limits, and if the activity level is challenged, the reports can provide evidence that it is operating as entitled. And

 

--- Noise Complaints. Most airfields / airports occasional need to be able to show which aircraft did what, when and why (or that an offending aircraft was NOT associated with them), so that noise or low-flying complaints can be answered quickly to avoid escalation of the complaint. Usually this can be handled by the airport itself listening to the radio calls from the archives for the specific period. Aimm operators can provide this report if the situation report needs to be from an independent third party. And

 

--- Search and Rescue. To be able to quickly playback a group of radio calls to identify what was said, by whom, and at what exact time in an emergency.

 

--- Management. Most aerodromes want an occasional 'snapshot' of movements for a past or current period. Typically when they are due to review bulk fees for favoured local aircraft operators, so that they have definite facts on exactly who is doing what in order to make informed management decisions and negotiate from a position of strong knowledge.

 

The Aimm central server monitors the on-site unit remotely to ensure that the system remains operational.

 

 

2. Aimm-Plus:
--- This is a more powerful version has all the functions above, plus it provides fully detailed reports every month showing the fine detail.   It identifies for each movement: the time, date, the specific aircraft call sign or flight number, (and in the case of major airlines, the actual aircraft that flew the specified flight number on that occasion), aircraft weight, type of aircraft, aircraft operator with full name and address, type of movement (Takeoff / Landing / TnG), and runway or helipad approach in use. These reports are designed to meet Consent / Planning Approval / Compliance obligations, Airport Management requirements, and provide detailed movement reports for grant applications, special projects, master plans and billing landing fees.

 

--- The on-site unit automatically encrypts the data and uploads to Aimm's secure internet server each night, and either Aimm staff or Airport staff download these and playback to enter the movements.

Where the Airport's own staff do the playbacks, a timesheet detailing hours worked is sent to both the operator and the airport management each week, and if the staffer falls behind then Aimm's operators automatically playback the oldest days to prevent a large backlog developing.  When required to cover sickness / holidays, one of Aimm's playback operators can usually take over the playbacks on short notice.

 

--- Management reports are emailed within one week of the end of each month to any number of recipients showing graphs and collated summaries of activity.

 

--- Detailed reports in .CSV format (or in many Billing system's specific formats) are emailed within one week of the end of each month, with full details of each movement. This has the full names and addresses of the aircraft operators, and the price for each movement according to the aerodrome's pricing rules, ready for import into the aerodrome's billing system for the aerodrome to bill pilots for landing fees, usually with no further data entry. It can also be imported into a spreadsheet for further management analysis.

 

--- Whether the 'playback and movement entry' is done by an Aimm Operator, or the Aerodrome's own Playback Operator, neither of them have to make pricing decisions... when they enter the aircraft registration, Aimm looks up the price set by the Aerodrome management for its type, weight, or a specified rate (which can be $0) for particular aircraft, and adds the details to the CSV file invoicing data.

 

--- All radio call recordings are available retrospectively.  Airport staff can listen to radio calls for any period from three years ago to the last few minutes at the aerodrome. As Aimm is a Cloud based system, this can be done from any computer that has Internet access.

 

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Can Aimm handle Parking Fees, Fuel purchases and other aircraft costs? 

Yes. In addition to the Landing Fees entered by a playback operator, any charge incurred by an aircraft can be entered directly into the Aimm website as soon as it occurs. E.g. An airport staff member can use a computer (or a mobile device like a tablet or smart phone) to enter a parking fee as soon as they see that a visiting aircraft has parked overnight, when they sell it fuel, or at the time they provide other services. There is no need for the charge to be written down for an office worker to enter it into the billing system later, though this can be done if preferred. Full details of the charge will be imported into the airport's billing system with the monthly import of landing fees.

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What are the Costs and Benefits? 

For both Aimm-Lite and Aimm-Plus,  the 'Dashboard' report condenses each month's activities into a concise view of the facts that Airport Management need to know... the 'who, what and when' of activity at the Airport.  It is sent within a week of the end of each month to enable up-to-date and effective business decisions.    In event of an incident, these reports (and check lists sent by Aimm) provide written evidence that the Airfield / Airport land owner has been taking 'all practicable steps' to ensure the safety of the pilots, maintenance staff and public.

 

For Aimm-Plus, the 'Billing and Movement' report is also sent within a week, with fully priced and addressed invoices for direct import into the Airport's existing billing system, usually with no further data entry.

 

--- Aerodromes are charged a fixed monthly subscription, the cost quoted in advance based on amount of data to be processed.  There are no hidden fees or line item charges, so this is the only cost unless they want extra services such as a mobile data link, or having Aimm's own operators to do the transcription of the radio calls, or Special reports / consultancy which are charged on a time and cost basis.

 

--- Either Aimm's Playback Operators, or Playback Operators employed by the Airport, can download the filtered radio calls from the Aimm Server onto any Windows computer, either at the airport or anywhere with Internet access, play them back and enter the movements.

 

--- Aimm does all the rest... Airspace Activity and Movement Reporting, Risk Management reminders, and in the case of Aimm-Plus produces a CSV file of priced and addressed invoicing data for import into the Airport's existing billing system so the aircraft operators can be charged landing fees. Aimm has robust system monitoring, data collection and retention methods, however the service is provided solely on the understanding that no liability for loss of landing fees or any other losses arising from loss or corruption of data will be accepted by Aimm.

 

For more information contact Simon Lockie on info@aimm.aero.

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How is Aimm able to provide these services so cost-effectively? 

The Aimm developers have a long history in Data Analytics (extracting the meaning from raw computer data) and analysis of patterns in data. With the power now available on 'Cloud' based and Distributed systems, Aimm has the computer itself do much of the work and thus considerably reduce the human input required by the Playback Operators. By providing services for many airfields / airports, Aimm is able to provide these services cost effectively.

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How does Aimm differ from other Movement Monitoring Systems and Methods? 

--- Risk Management.  Most other methods were designed for Landing Fee collection, with that as their main or only function.   Aimm collects data for landing fee billing too (and very efficiently), and also puts an equal emphasis on Risk Management in the evolving Health & Safety environment, so that the Airport Land Owner can show that they are fulfilling those obligations.   

 

--- Local employment.   By making full use of  the power available in 'Cloud' computing,  Aimm enables the computer itself to do much of the work, considerably reducing the human work required.   The Cloud also makes it possible for the Airport's own staff to do the radio call playbacks and data entry if they wish, (either from the airport or from home with full timesheet control), generating employment locally rather than sending it interstate.   Aimm staff  are available to fill in for a local operator at short notice in event of sickness or holidays.

 

--- Known Costs.   There are no hidden fees.  Aimm charges a fixed monthly subscription.  It does not take a percentage of landing fees billed, and there are no line-item charges.   Extra charges will only be incurred if a mobile phone link is required, or (in the case of Aimm-Plus) if the Airport chooses to have Aimm's staff do the radio call playbacks and data entry, in which case this work is charged per radio call minute.

 

--- All types of movement.   All monitoring methods will log Landings, but most older systems do not log Takeoff and Touch-and-Go movements.   Aimm records ALL types of movement, so the Airport Management can show that they are considering all aircraft activity to ensure the 'Health and Safety' of their staff, pilots and the public.  Takeoffs and Touch-and-Go are just as capable of generating an incident as are Landings,  so without these types incomplete data means incomplete statistics and incomplete Risk Management.  

 

--- Impartial advice.  As Aimm does NOT get any percentage of the landing fees billed, we have no hesitation in recommending that an airport use yearly bulk billing rather than charging for each landing, if that would be more efficient for them.   Aimm has many clients who do not collect individual landing fees, but need the Risk Management and Compliance functions, and need the automated reports to set the bulk yearly fees.   We are neither for nor against individual landing fees, and are free to recommend the income generation method that best suits each of our clients.

 

--- We are Airport Operators ourselves.   The Aimm team developed Aimm for their own Airport, and it was taken up by other Airfields and Airports.   Clients often comment that this 'Airport centric' approach shows in the easy operation of our systems.  We don't need to be persuaded to make changes as the 'Health and Safety' or Air Traffic environment evolves... we live in your world and often make the changes our clients need, at no-charge, before anyone asks.  We need them too!     Operating an Airport requires a different set of skills than operating an Aero Club or Aircraft, and not all people charged with overseeing an Airfield / Airport have an Airport management background.   Our senior staff are readily available to Clients for discussion of challenges and opportunites, which can take the form of a short discussion at no charge, or a full consultancy with written reports at normal industry rates.

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How to know if Aimm will meet my Airfield / Airport's needs?   Discuss with Aimm staff the challenges and opportities that your Airport faces, and how other Airports have used Aimm to handle these.   In many cases other Airports have faced the something similar, so we can usually advise on the solution, and results that were achieved.

Aimm supplies a self contained unit that is plugged into the power at the airfield / airport.  Your staff don't have to do anything else. The unit monitors activity 24 / 7 / 365.   Aimm staff will liase with IT and Accounting staff to sort out the 'nuts and bolts' of making it fit seamlessly into your existing systems.

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Publically owned Airfields / Airports?  Local Body and Central Govt managed airports operate under many constraints, and Aimm has been specifically designed to meet their needs with no hassle for the Officer-in-Charge.

 

--- Airspace Report. Aimm-Lite remotely monitors the Airspace activity and reports monthly.

 

--- Billing/Movement Report. Aimm-Plus remotely monitors aircraft Airspace activity and Movements, identifying the time, date and type of each movement and provides a monthly Management Summary of landings, with usage statistics.

 

--- Landing Fee Invoicing. If required, Aimm-Plus provides a fully priced and addressed file of landing fees invoices to be imported directly into the organisation's existing billing system with audit information.

 

--- Risk Management and Mitigation.  Aimm's developers are themselves Airport Operators.   They are very concious of the need for proactive Risk Management in order to mitigate risks...  and the need to be able to prove this after an incident.

 

  --- Complaints. On request, investigation of particular flights that have drawn complaints from residents. These one-off reports show the time and type of activity that caused the complaint, identify the aircraft involved, and if required Aimm will interpret the significance for the benefit of Local Body staff who may not be aviation experts. Many complaints are generated by flights that are fully legal, but are aircraft flying Search and Rescue missions at unusual altitudes, times and places.

 

--- Incidents. On request from the Aimm client (and only then), a full set of raw and unfiltered radio calls for the relevant period can be passed on to Incident Investigators with their accuracy and completeness certified as true and correct..

 

This service has been 'fine tuned' in consultation with Officers-in-Charge of Publically owned Airports... existing user names and contact numbers are available on request. Because of the economies of scale of Aimm as a specialised contractor, and Aimm's knowledge of the Aviation Industry, it takes care of the whole of this task, reducing overheads and time.   These make it possible to achieve cost-neutrality, an operating surplus, or a known level of subsidy as required.   It provides clear written evidence in the monthly reports that the facilities are being operated correctly in accordance with the policy instructions given to the Officer-in-Charge.

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Are Security / Privacy / Radio Regulations requirements met? Yes. The operators of Aimm have a Health Industry Computing background, where they have access to confidential patient information as necessary to assist Health Professionals to serve patients efficiently. Similarly, Aimm has access to confidential air traffic information as necessary to assist Aviation Organisations to serve aviators efficiently. Aimm applies the Health Industry's standards of confidentiality and security to the information on the Aimm system, and makes it possible to monitor aircraft movements while preserving secrecy of the aircraft operator's name and address and movements. Aerodrome staff can enter / modify charges / delete any specific movement they wish, or Aimm staff can do this on behalf of the Aerodrome. In neither case does the operator see the name or address of the aircraft operator.

 

The Radio Regulations require anyone overhearing information that is 'not intended for their information', to preserve secrecy of the communication. The Compliance section of the Ministry in charge of Radio Spectrum has advised (original document on file):


."... consideration of the safety issues involved and consultation with the Civil Aviation Authority indicate that the information about a pilot's intentions is relevant to all parties in the aerodrome area, including other pilots, the aerodrome operators and any other parties who may be affected by the aircraft movements. Accordingly, the Ministry considers that aerodrome operators are among the entitled recipients of these broadcasts and are not committing an offence by using, reproducing or disclosing those radiocommunications..."

Aimm provides services to aerodromes, using information observed visually or collected by radio / camera equipment owned or leased by the aerodrome, located on the aerodrome, and under physical control of the Aerodrome Operator. Aimm's method of operation preserves the secrecy of the communication with only the Aerodrome and Aimm personel knowing of the content and existence of specific radio communications / camera images.  Aimm personel are bound by contractural obligations of secrecy.

 

The radio call recordings and / or images are archived on-site at the aerodrome for at least three years. Recordings / images uploaded to Aimm's 'Cloud' server are deleted after being played back / viewed, with only the billing information retained. Aimm uses a secure server and encrypted data transfers with the data exchange being initiated by the on-site unit.

Aimm will not pass to any third party, email addresses or other information that identifies an individual flight, pilot, aircraft or aerodrome, and will not use the information it holds for any purposes other than for operations of its own system, for assisting Aerodromes to manage their reporting requirements and debtors, and on rare occasions to assist Search and Rescue , Incident Investigation, or other officially sanctioned purposes.   

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