Fraport and IATA test RampVR to train handlers

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Fraport AG and airline association IATA are carrying out a joint study on a virtual reality training tool for ground operations at Frankfurt Airport (FRA) this summer.

As part of this study, participants will take part in training courses for ground ops by using virtual reality (VR) glasses. The cooperation agreement on the three-month pilot phase was symbolically signed at the IATA Ground Handling Conference in Doha.

About 100 employees will be trained at FRA using the virtual reality platform, dubbed RampVR, developed by IATA. Both new and experienced employees can participate in the training modules, which were made available in the German language.

Brigitte Press, VP Ramp & Passenger Service at Fraport AG said: “From this study, we expect to gain insights as to whether VR technology can improve operational training with regard to efficiency, knowledge retention and cost-effectiveness.”

Furthermore, employees’ acceptance of this digital form of training will also be assessed during the study.

At present, two ground handling processes can be trained virtually using IATA’s RampVR tool: aircraft marshalling and aircraft turnaround inspections. In the module on aircraft marshalling, the participant can train how to precisely marshal a taxiing aircraft into the parking position with the help of controllers.

During the turnaround training, the participant should identify scratches and damage to the aircraft and mark them with a laser pointer.

If feedback to the test is positive, further training modules for individual ground operation processes might be developed and jointly tested in the future.

RampVR was also demonstrated at the GSE and Ramp Ops event in Milan last year.