Airservices Australia & Jacobs – Achieving a Paradigm Shift in Air Navigation Service Provider’s Asset Operation Through Digitalisation of Assets

Project Overview

Leveraging emerging technologies to obtain greater value from
Airservices’ assets Intelligent Asset Management (IAM) is an important addition to the Condition Based Maintenance (CBM) program implemented by Airservices and provides means to automate the acquisition, integration and analysis of relevant asset data (Figure 1). The insights obtained through this process can be applied for tactical and strategic asset management decision-making at Airservices. Traditional CBM programs must rely extensively on technicians and engineers to perform regular routes where they investigate the condition of assets. These routes can be time-consuming, require specialised skills, and use specialised equipment. With IAM, many tasks can be performed using digital technologies that automatically monitor and alert maintenance staff, freeing them to perform other duties. The objectives of the project were to provide a strong foundation for conducting an IAM trial, establish potential benefits of the
introduction of innovative digital asset management solutions, and build a case for scaling this capability for Airservices’ geographically dispersed asset base worth $2 billion.

The sites chosen for the trial included Control Tower and Radar Site facilities as they were deemed to provide a good representation of Airservices facilities in terms of assets and level of existing digitalisation. The following assets (Figure 2) were identified for the trial on each site based on their criticality i.e. impact of their failure on end-service delivery and where application of sensor technology would provide maximum benefits.

Aligning projects outcomes to Airservices’ strategic priorities

The project leveraged the Asset Management Council’s (AMC) capability delivery model, with a line-of-sight established between Airservices’ strategic priorities and the capability being delivered as part of the IAM trial (Figure 3). The IAM capability was seen as an enabler for the organisation to continue to have their ‘finger on the pulse’ of the assets (through deployment of Internet of Things (IoT) sensors, and data integration and analysis capabilities), providing assurance on performance of the assets even when a third-party is
responsible for asset management service provision.

Innovative approaches to the project

Strategic Leadership – The strategic perspective provided by Airservices was instrumental in shaping the course of the trial. With Jacobs, the long-term vision for evolution of Airservices’ asset management capability was clearly articulated. This enabled the joint team to perform a gap analysis between the current and future states of the asset management organisation that informed the scope of the trial. In addition, Airservices provided ongoing support through prioritisation and timely allocation of accredited engineers and technicians for progressing safety-critical activities on the project.

Leveraging Global, Cross-Industry Insights – Jacobs leveraged its global IAM capability and extensive experience of having supported asset-intensive organisations such as NASA and US Defense to inform the overarching approach to the project. Sharing examples of ‘What good looks like?’ enabled the joint team to better define the target end-state and refine project deliverables and outcomes

Integrating AM Best Practices – A robust implementation plan was developed by the joint team providing assurance that the proposed solution was fit-for purpose. This has given Airservices the confidence to include IAM as an execution lever in their Infrastructure Transformation Strategy and as IAM is scaled across Airservices sites it will enable Airservices to enhance its asset management maturity to level 4 or above.

Adoption of Agile Delivery Methodology – An Agile methodology was adopted to deliver the fast-tracked IAM trial in four tranches over 14 weeks. In each tranche, stakeholder inputs were sort to ensure alignment and early mitigation of perceived risks to operations, especially safety.

Collaborative Approach – The collaborative approach between Airservices and Jacobs has led to skills transfer and identification of capabilities to be developed by Airservices technical workforce to support asset governance and assurance functions under alternative sourcing models.

Delivering fit-for-purpose outcomes through adoption of an Agile and robust
delivery methodology

An Agile methodology was adopted to deliver the IAM trial in four tranches over 14 weeks (Figure 4). In each tranche, stakeholder inputs were sort to ensure alignment and early mitigation of perceived risks to operations. Since Airservices operates in a safety-critical and high-regulated environment, incorporating emerging technologies into their operations requires adherence to rigorous asset management, engineering and safety standards.
The delivery methodology also indicates the elaborate planning undertaken by the project to develop a phased implementation plan to de-risk the induction of IAM at Airservices. The plan was developed through extensive consultation with key stakeholders, applied asset management best practices to identify failure modes and associated data capture points for individual assets and incorporated a safety risk assessment process.

Value delivered by the project
As Airservices continues to shape its transformation agenda, the identified benefits from the IAM trial will assist with transforming the organisation into a digitally driven, strategically aligned, and proactive manager of assets. Once the IAM capability is scaled across key Airservices sites, the value that will be realised include:

Standby generator cost savings total $600K/annum based on an estimated $400k reduction in
maintenance costs, and a $200k+ reduction in travel and other direct costs.
Work Health and Safety benefits including:

‐ Reduced need to work at heights to repair antenna components,
‐ Increased workforce comfort with improved HVAC operations,
‐ Reduced technician travel, increased flexibility to delivery model, and
‐ Reduced personnel entrapments with early identification of vertical lift issues.

HVAC monitoring efficiency gains with early detection of HVAC issues that could save around $100k/annum excluding travel costs and technician time.

Environmental sustainability outcomes with reduction in automobile miles travelled, resulting in less fossil fuel usage and harmful emissions. The program has also informed the broader infrastructure strategy of the organisation with the inclusion of Digital Asset Management as one of three key execution levers in the investment case (Figure 5).

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