Airport will be the next big opportunity for IT companies

Infotech Lead India: Frost & Sullivan says Airport will be the next big opportunity for IT companies.

Airport capacity constraints, strong air traffic growth and increasing competition among airports globally will drive investments on airport infrastructure.

Implementing advanced technology solutions in airports is vital to maximise operational efficiency, improve the passenger experience and the quality of service offered to airlines. Airports will need to re-position themselves in the supply chain and become the entity that will ensure efficient collaboration of the stakeholders and operational excellence in order to satisfy the traveller.

Airports should track, record and measure real-time passenger data within the airport environment in order to understand passenger behaviour and improve their Key Performance Indicator (KPI) targets.

In a recent study Frost & Sullivan reveals that airports set new operational and commercial KPIs with the ‘passenger experience’ at the core, aiming at minimising waiting times in various touch points, improving airline on-time performance, decreasing average turnaround time and improving overall non-aeronautical revenues.

Technological advancement in the telecom industry and smartphone proliferation, as well as geolocation are providing opportunities which enable airports to build relationships with passengers and reach the targeted KPI.

Airport technology providers have developed solutions that can be implemented in the whole airport area or at specific airport zones like check-in, security, gates, immigration, and terminals. The main technologies to invest are Wi-Fi triangulation, Wi-Fi signature, Bluetooth, Near Field Communication (NFC), as well as Radio Frequency Identification (RFID).

Ultimately, the airport should integrate passenger information recorded in the zones and terminals with information captured in other areas and from other airport systems. Thereafter the airport can interact with the remaining stakeholders and share information to improve services offered to passengers and eventually move towards a terminal collaborative decision making (CDM) environment.

All stakeholders can benefit from more efficient operations, as a result of integrated information, real-time decision making and situational awareness.

However, completely integrated and interactive business intelligence platforms are not yet recognised as viable solutions, due to perceived constraints and cost of implementation. Furthermore, lack of cooperation among airport stakeholders is a hurdle in realising the full benefits of a technology implementation.

According to Frost & Sullivan, technological projects are set to pick up gradually, initially in Europe and Middle East, making for a total market of approximately USD300 Million over the forecast period (2012-2020). Concessionaire dashboards, staff dashboards and off-airport tracking will provide real-time information to the airport enabling them to allocate resources efficiently, enhance information sharing among the stakeholders and enable passenger flows, resulting in revenue maximization.

Efficient operations and profit maximization will be critical factors to attract private investors, as airport privatization will be the only way to fund airport investments due to lack of government financial support. Implementing the relevant technological tools will allow airports to develop an end to end passenger experience framework while increasing profit.

Lida Mantzavinou, Frost & Sullivan Consultant for Aerospace, Defence & Security

[email protected]

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