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Case Study: Darwin International Airport

How Darwin International Airport is using Snapforms to help manage airside compliance for the constant stream of activities involved in the airport’s daily operations.

  • The Airport Development Group Northern Territory team (ADGNT) receives applications for a range of airport-related activities, including airside driving and crane operations
  • ADGNT required a secure, Australian-based online forms solution that complies with Australian privacy legislation and adheres to Australian Privacy Principles
  • In just weeks, the ADGNT team has digitised dozens of forms, using automated workflows to streamline application processes and reduce paper-related waste

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By their nature, airports are a logistical nightmare to manage, and Australia’s most northern major airport, Darwin International, is no exception.

In the airport’s Terminal Control Centre, Laura Campbell is responsible for coordinating the arduous task of Darwin International’s Airside Compliance. As part of the Airport Development Group Northern Territory team – or ADGNT – Laura is responsible for ensuring everyone from airside drivers to crane operators have the appropriate clearance to do what they need to do, day in, day out, for the almost 2.2 million passengers (pre-Covid) and almost 900,000 tonnes of cargo that the airport handles each year.

What was the business challenge?

Every day, Laura’s team receives applications for a wide range of airport-related activities, including an Authority to Drive Airside, Authority to Use Airside application, Crane Operations Permit, ID Card, Access Control Permit, and many more.

And in addition to the airside components of the airport’s operations, there are forms for a raft of other types of processes, including Business Registration forms and HR-related processes such as leave request forms, background checks, and more.

It was just ridiculous…That’s what spurred me on to find this solution.

With the sheer number of forms covering various applications to conduct activity inside the airport’s boundaries, Laura was seeing an alarming number of inefficiencies creeping into her team’s admin processes.

“We might get an application emailed to us, then we were printing it out just to put in the ‘Office Only’ section, then scanning it and then chucking it out,” Laura recalls.

“It was just ridiculous. That’s what spurred me on to find this solution in the first place.

“I just wanted to streamline the application process and just make things easier all round.” 

They really wanted an Australian server-hosted solution.

Privacy was also an important factor in selecting their online form provider, with a secure, Australian-based solution that complied with Australian privacy legislation being a must-have. 

“We strategised what we needed, what we’d love to have, what’s an added bonus, but they really wanted an Australian server-hosted solution,” Laura explains.

How was the solution implemented?

Laura explained that they first nominated a captain from each department to sort through all their existing paper and PDF-based forms, identifying which ones they wanted the Snapforms team to help digitise, and the rest that they could build themselves using the Snapforms drag-and-drop editor. 

You can let these forms do as much as you want them to do.

“I said to them you can make it as simple or as complex as you want it to be. You can let these forms do as much as you want them to do – pretty much anything we’ve wanted, it’s definitely possible,” Laura says.

Using the Crane Operations Permit Application form as an example of the advanced workflow functionality she and her team are implementing, Laura explains how the workflow involves the applicant providing the required information before it triggers the team to conduct a crane assessment and finally progressing to a manager for a final check and approval.

Other forms, such as the Authority to Use Airside (AUA) Application, require company-authorised signatories to add their digital signatures.

“It’s quite often that the authorising signatory they put for the company is not an approved signatory on our records, so we have to send it back to them and say you need to get one of these people from their approved list,” Laura explains.

“So we did some workflows where if that was the case our admin could copy and paste in who the approved signatories are and send it back to the applicant to keep the process moving along.”

Streamlined processes and a reduction in waste

“We’re definitely seeing the benefits of streamlining the processes and also that reduction in unnecessary printing and paper waste and ink waste,” Laura says.

There’s at least a ninety percent reduction in unnecessary printing of paper.

“We’ve got 49 forms already – we only released it to the teams a month or two ago so they’re coming along. I love it. It’s brilliant.

“I checked in with our security team who do the applications for access control that has a lot of applications.

“They have reported that there’s at least a ninety percent reduction in unnecessary printing of paper and the admin team absolutely loves it. 

“It’s made it so much easier for them and they’re all very happy – we’ve had that huge reduction in unnecessary waste.”

In the coming months, Laura says they plan to migrate all their forms across to the Snapforms platform, including staff car park access, visitor ID cards, and more. They are also working to incorporate payments into their forms to automatically collect fees associated with applications via their NAB Transact payment gateway.  

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