Aéroports de Montréal's Challenge

Improve how minor problems are detected and handled at Montréal-Trudeau Airport facilities
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Who is Aéroports de Montréal? What are the company’s objectives?

A private, non-profit corporation, Aéroports de Montréal (ADM) is the local airport authority that has been responsible for managing and developing the Montréal-Trudeau and Montréal-Mirabel international airports since 1992. The company has some 650 employees at the two airports.

ADM manages an area of over 500,000 m2 and more than 15,000 pieces of equipment. ADM is sometimes compared to a city, in the sense that it manages many things, notably its own fire service, airport security, building and runway maintenance, airport access and parking, permits for circulating in regulated areas and more. There is a community of 20,000 employees working at the airport.

ADM’s clients are, of course, passengers, but also business partners, be they airlines, concession holders, tenants, suppliers or police forces (CBSA, CATSA, GARDA, etc.).

What process or problem are we trying to solve?

Maintaining equipment and infrastructures is a daily challenge for ADM. In addition to planned maintenance, it has instituted a system that allows ADM employees and clients to quickly alert the maintenance teams when a problem is spotted at its facilities. The problems reported are wide ranging, for example, unblocking a boarding gate, turning down the ambient music, changing a defective light, cleaning an area or fixing a water leak in a public washroom. These are problems that at no point endanger user health or safety.

The process for reporting these problems is simple. ADM clients and employees call a phone number (514 633-3223), which puts them in touch with a call centre agent. The agent, who is an employee of an outside firm, notes who is calling and asks a series of scripted questions to classify the problem. The information is entered and stored in a piece of software and then sent to the equipment management department, which dispatches a technician. Technicians have tablets for reading information about the problem, to determine the urgency of the situation and to choose when to work on the problem. According to initial data, calls last on average one minute, and the call centre receives around 130 calls per day; 50 to 75 of them result in a notice to a technician or a housekeeping attendant.

This procedure allows employees and clients to report a problem, but it is not ideal for a number of reasons:

  • Almost 75% of clients and employees do not know the procedure or the phone number.
  • Some are reluctant to report a problem because of the waiting time on the phone and the time needed to describe the problem (during peak periods, the waiting time can be up to five minutes).
  • For the same reasons, people who report a problem often do so several hours after having discovered it and may have forgotten important details.
  • There is no feedback on the handling of the problem to the user who reported it. Technicians do not confirm that the problem has been, or when it will be, solved.
  • The service provider who receives the call does not know about all the technical issues reported and retrieves incorrect or incomplete information.

ADM believes that this problem identification function could be improved by optimizing the current process (phone call) or developing new approaches.

What are our objectives?

The solution should make it possible to identify and monitor minor problems and respond to any of the following:

  • Help identify minor, routine problems without increasing employee workload.
  • Facilitate handling these problems.
  • Obtain more specific information faster.
  • Improve communication and the engagement of stakeholders who can report or solve a problem.
  • Facilitate information sharing between stakeholders.

The solution can involve:

  • Improving the current process;


  • Proposing new complementary services that are based on the use of connected objects, loyalty or gamification strategies, an immersive experience, mobility, etc.

What is the target clientele: whom are we addressing?

Four targets:

1. The airport community and employees who work on site and can report a problem.

  • They have an RAIC permit that allows them to work at Montréal-Trudeau facilities.
  • They may have a cell phone or access to a landline at work.

2. Maintenance employees who are called to solve problems

  • They have a tablet that is always connected.
  • They also have a radio to communicate with call centre agents.

3. Call centre agents

  • Managing maintenance problems is only one of their activities.

4. The general public that passes through the airports.

What will be the framework for the pilot project to test the solution? What are the success indicators?

The project definition framework will indicate the facilities targeted by the pilot project, the duration and type of tests to be performed as well as the target audiences included in the sample. This definition framework will be proposed during the private meeting and could be adapted to the needs of the selected start-up.

Success indicators:

  • Number of problems detected and resolved during the test period.
  • Stakeholder engagement.
  • Speed, efficiency and rigour in resolving problems in the medium and long term.
  • Follow-up on closing the call (at the reporting party’s request).
  • The innovative and strategic component of the solution.

The start-up selected will need to propose a realistic schedule for the pilot project.

What are the parameters and constraints?

At this stage, we could provide an endless list of constraints, given that the airport is a huge place that operates around the clock, with 15 to 16 million passengers moving through it per year, where security is extremely important. It will be easier to specify constraints and put the pilot project in context based on the premises of solutions proposed by start-ups.

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