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Digital Nomad

Making AirportGateway part of your ID Centre’s business continuity plan: Lessons from the Pandemic

Updated: May 30

In March 2020, when borders started shutting due to the Coronavirus pandemic, we found ourselves in a ‘drop everything’ situation, with airports having no time to build a business continuity plan for their ID Centre. Given the rapid spread of the virus, updates evolved rapidly around what workplaces should and should not be doing. However, as an unprecedented situation and with the extreme pace at which information evolved, businesses were left transitioning from office safety measures, to long-term remote working schemes, in a matter of hours. Virtually impossible to achieve for most airport ID Centres.

Some businesses already have remote working schemes in place, but for others this was new territory, and for everyone long-term remote working is very different from ad-hoc flexible working. The lack of time in which to prepare caught many off guard, stuck between ever changing government guidelines, employee fear and welfare, to an airport operational crisis!

Moving into the ‘restart and recovery’ phase of COVID-19, many businesses – including airports – have been discussing what the future looks like, recognising gaps and improvements for their ID processes. Many companies have reported astonishing employee productivity boosts, with focus on output rather then input. Post Coronavirus, some see their operational teams maintaining ‘phygital’ workspaces, a workspace that is a combination of physical and digital workspaces.

With this new way of working in mind and managers looking to future proof their departments against reduced productivity, it is time to start investing in the digital tools that keep efficiency up – no matter where staff may be in the world!

How one airport used AirportGateway in conjunction with social distancing amid COVID-19?

One of our airports found that the document upload feature within AirportGateway was key in them being able to continue processing ID pass applications without the need to physical see people for appointments – similar to the ‘phygital’ environment! As well as uploading documents to the portal, applicants were able to take selfies in accordance with the recommended guidelines for their ID pass photo. The ID centre was then able to print the passes and keep them in an envelope for the pass holder to collect, eliminating any need for social interaction.

Why include AirportGateway in your business continuity plan?

The use of automation, cognitive technology and online spaces are key characteristics in online solutions that help your team to work independently (at distance), while still achieving high productivity levels.

AirportGateway is a fully online solution which can be accessed by any device with an internet connection. The ability to access the platform remotely can benefit long-term remote working solutions where staff still need to process and issue ID passes.

AirportGateway also provides full transparency and ownership within the system, which allows people to maintain responsibility and accountability for their own tasks and processes yet, still adopt the attitudes of working within a wider team . This high-level of transparency was actually highlighted by Glasgow Airport as a key factor in increased productivity for improving turnaround times;

“One of the other things that has allowed improved turnaround times is the transparency of IDGateway™. In the IDGateway system you have ‘Users‘ who log on, which is tracked, and staff who apply information to that application, which is also tracked. This transparency means that everybody knows exactly where the application is at and who has influenced it along the way. Prior to IDGateway™, Glasgow airport would get blamed for delays, now an ID centre gets accurate information from the IDGateway™ platform allowing the authorised signatories to improve support and highlight mistakes that the user is making.” – Kenny Welsh, Security and Compliance Manager Glasgow Airport.

Moving to an online system, as oppose to the traditional paper-based workflows has a host of benefits, from identifying fraudulent applications and reducing errors, to improving data security and increasing turnaround times. But one of the biggest benefits is increased revenue. The saving of costs, either directly or in-directly.

Directly, teams can be leaner, operating with over 50% less team members compared to the headcount required for traditional paper-based applications. Costs are also saved in other areas such as paper resources and postal charges! In directly, airports see a huge improvement in staff time. The efficiency of allocated manpower improves, with ID centres being able to separate staff across perm, temp and vehicle passes while utilising a smoother faster system.

Future proofing your productivity

It is critical that while this has been (and still is) a difficult time for airports, that planning take place to prevent reduced productivity in future scenarios, driven by working independently.

Whether in the state of international crisis, moving to a flexible and more productive remote working scheme, or supporting employees working in different locations during challenging circumstances – adopting intelligent technology process tools will be key for a successful continuity plan.

If you’d like to talk to use about implementing AirportGateway into your business then contact us today.


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