TRANSOM’s commitment to sustainability

Article submitted by Transom – TIACA Trustee and Sustainability Strategic Partner

Written by: Gerald Gruber, Strategy & Transformation

Acting sustainable has been one of the key slogans in the past few years. Whether it was referred to as financial sustainability, environmental sustainability or, today more than ever, health and social sustainability. Each of these elements has received great attention in the aviation community. The Sultanate of Oman with TRANSOM, as its prime aviation service provider, is no exception. However, with the country’s strategic location and requirement to move away from its dependency on the oil and gas industry, there may be an exceptional approach to it.

Oman has invested a lot in the past few years in the logistics sector in general, and the aviation sector in particular. Five new airports throughout the country provide modern gateways to the Sultanate. TRANSOM has been equipped with newly procured GSE which is environmentally friendly. It is mainly electrical instead of diesel driven equipment, aiming at providing reliable services in a sustainable way. With a population of less than 5 million these airports cannot be operated solely for the locals. Instead they have been designed to also provide an exceptional arrival experience for tourists, inspired by the traditional Omani hospitality. In addition, they enable a comfortable transfer experience for passengers travelling between Europe, Asia and Africa – all conveniently reachable within a few flight-hours. But our airports should also boost the local economies by allowing the development of cargo networks. These should be fed by local products for air-export which are time-sensitive, particularly fresh fish.

This initiative is also supported by the recent introduction of secured bonded corridors in Salalah and Duqm. Both the cities have not only received brand new airports with state-of-the-art cargo facilities, but are also home to the region’s biggest seaports. This allows a seamless sea-to-air cargo experience together with the goods for export from the Sultanate. Now this all can be done in a significantly reduced time frame, with less administration, shorter ways and fully digital support systems.

TRANSOM is promoting these recent initiatives and is actively looking for cooperation opportunities that create a triple-win situation – for the freighter companies, for TRANSOM and for the country. This led in the last months to a new cooperation between a major Cargo Carrier from Africa and TRANSOM. Resulting in additional Air Freight being channeled long term via Oman Airports. A real show case how the aviation sector enables sustainability and further connect the Sultanate to the world.

Obviously, more activities have to be launched to be successful and sustainable in the long run. TRANSOM therefore steps into service gaps in order to fill them and complete the value chain. The most recent example is the cross-utilization of the Muscat Airport’s catering facility for aviation catering but also food processing. It leads to reduce the sole dependency on in flight catering on the one hand and enables air freight cargo for export on the other – giving additional benefits to each member of the TRANSOM family. The initial focus is on fish, of which Oman, with it’s breathtaking marine life, can offer a lot. Also the fisheries industry is monitored by the Ministry of Agricultural and Fisheries. It has a sustainability program to protect its fish wealth so as to prevent over-fishing. As a result, fishing for certain fish types is seasonal. To overcome this challenge also the processing of fruits and vegetables and subsequent export is looked into.

Job security and health are the two biggest concerns of all aviation employees during this challenging period. We always have to keep in mind that health is each team member’s biggest asset – and the team is the biggest asset of TRANSOM. In order to sustain the workforce of TRANSOM it is vital to ensure that each team member knows about the preventive measures to ensure one’s health and safety. This is achieved through regular communication. Now that the majority of aircraft has been grounded and a big number of staff does not have to come to work on a daily basis, the digital communication streams have been proven to be essential to keep everyone informed. It is an imposed and long needed digital transformation that the sector is going through.

The aviation sector is still manpower intensive and will remain so even after the crisis. Our teams should not sit idle and wait for better times but make use of this period. The requirement to adhere to strict aviation certification rules did not disappear. On the contrary, new rules and regulations have been created, focusing particularly on the HSE elements in our work environment. Many international digital training platforms identified this opportunity and provide specific training courses – both general as well as customized.

In the long run such transformation of the information sharing will support TRANSOM’s sustainability. It enables also a direct communication with those partners, who are not situated in Oman, but somewhere else around the globe.

We at TRANSOM remain optimistic that this pandemic also holds a number of business opportunities. For the Sultanate of Oman and also for companies in the aviation sector, particularly those active in the air freight industry. We have therefore created a program called “Emerge Stronger Together”. Through this program ideas can be channeled in the right direction and the business development team can work on their implementation. We also link it to the TIACA Sustainability Working Group results, wherein we actively participate. Fortunately we have already found many partners who share our optimism and we continue our work on unlocking Oman’s great potential.

In the long run such transformation of the information sharing will support TRANSOM’s sustainability. It enables also a direct communication with those partners, who are not situated in Oman, but somewhere else around the globe.

We at TRANSOM remain optimistic that this pandemic also holds a number of business opportunities. For the Sultanate of Oman and also for companies in the aviation sector, particularly those active in the air freight industry. We have therefore created a program called “Emerge Stronger Together”. Through this program ideas can be channeled in the right direction and the business development team can work on their implementation. Luckily we have already found many partners who share our optimism and we continue our work on unlocking Oman’s great potential.

For more information on TRANSOM visit their website.

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