India aviation to up IT investment after new policy

Enterprise IT companies can look forward for India’s civil airline market to boost revenue in the wake of the civil aviation policy announced by the Government.

Investment in information technology is becoming a top priority for both small and big airlines and airports.

Frost & Sullivan says digital technologies are transforming the way airlines and airports do business. The inflated IT budgets, low barriers to entry into the IT supply chain and the introduction of digital solutions as the panacea for all business problems, becomes a challenge for business managers.

“Digital transformation in airlines and airports stems from digitisation of processes and products, increased connectivity of travellers and stakeholders, as well as the evolution of big data,” said Diogenis Papiomytis, director Aerospace & Defence at Frost & Sullivan.

IT investments

New opportunities arise in developing new and enhancing existing revenue streams, while improving the customer experience and reducing costs in core operations.

According to Technavio, the flight management systems market is expected to record a CAGR of over 7 percent until 2020.

Transparency Market Research says the  smart airport solutions market is expected to expand at a CAGR of 10.8 percent from 2016 to 2024, reaching $19.33 billion by the end of 2024 from $7.56 billion in 2015.

The market’s growth is gaining traction with an increased level of passenger traffic and growing level of IT spending across airports.

IT spending on airports will be in the deployment of modern technologies such as wireless connectivity, automated solutions, and check-in kiosks.

In 2015, the smart airports infrastructure revenue was majorly contributed by the security systems segment, which accounted for approximately 49 percent of the total revenue. On the other hand, the passenger, cargo, and baggage handling systems segment is projected to rise the fastest with a CAGR of 23.9 percent during the forecast period.

In 2015, landside solution was the leading segment of the smart airports solutions market, holding approximately 46 percent of the revenue. The terminal side solutions segment is projected to witness a CAGR of 14.8 percent — driven by rising demand for digital video surveillance and management solutions by airports for enhancements in the security and productivity at the workplace.

The core applications segment is predicted to expand the fastest at a CAGR of 18.4 percent during the forecast period. This is due to a rise in the use of mobile devices to check baggage status, flight updates, and other information. In order to provide such information through mobile notification services, both airports and airline operators are expected to invest huge amounts in core applications.

Smart airport processes covers location-based services, RFID baggage tagging, and no-queue check-in solutions.

India civil aviation policy

Highlights of India’s first integrated civil aviation policy that was approved at a cabinet meeting on Wednesday presided over by Prime Minister Narendra Modi:

# Make India 3rd largest civil aviation market by 2022 from 9th

# Push domestic travel to 300 million passengers by 2022 from 80 million now

# Scheduled operations to expand from 77 airports now to 127 by 2019

# Cargo volumes to increase 4 times to 10 million tonnes by 2027

# Cap of Rs 2,500 per ticket on regional routes

# Sticky 5/20 rule for airlines to fly overseas replaced with new norms: 20 aircraft or 20 per cent deployment on domestic routes

# Flexible, liberalized open skies and code share agreement

# Incentives for aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul to make India a hub in South Asia

# Skilling of 3.3 lakh personnel by 2025 with certification

# Focus also on development of green-field airports and heliports

# Focus on ease of doing business through deregulation, procedures and e-governance

# Promoting “Make In India” in civil aviation sector

# Ground handling policy to be replaced with new framework to ensure fair competition

# Three ground handling agencies including Air India arms at all major airports

# At non-major airports, operator to decide number of ground handling agencies

# Domestic scheduled airline, chopper services allowed self-handling at airports

Communication at airports

As per SITA’s Report ninth annual survey passenger IT Trends Survey, provision of airport Wi-Fi represents a top three priority for passengers.


Juniper Research said that the adoption of in-flight Wi-Fi by budget airlines will provide a boost to the connected IFE (in-flight entertainment) market, driving the number of connected commercial aircraft to over 10,400 by 2020. This will represent over a 3-fold increase from an estimated 3,200 this year.

NIIT Technologies, an IT solutions organization, announced a deal with flydubai to build IT systems to deliver an enhanced passenger satisfaction.

Ramesh Venkat, CIO of flydubai, said: “We remain committed to providing a great travel experience for all our passengers through advancements in technology and improvement in our operational efficiency.”

IBM recently signed a 10-year technology services agreement with Emirates Airline worth approximately $300 million. IBM will provide IT Infrastructure delivered as a service, allowing the airline to improve efficiency on its passenger support systems.

Tata Communications has won a contract with Air France-KLM, Europe’s second largest airline, to provide network connectivity to 170 sites. The network will form the backbone for the company as it embraces the latest mobile, cloud, big data analytics and wearable technologies to enhance and personalise passenger experience.

Tata Communications will roll out a superfast intelligent network to power Air France-KLM’s systems, including passenger check-in, flight operations and departure control applications, as well as corporate programs in the Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific.

“Investing in emerging markets and cutting-edge digital technologies is at the heart of our growth strategy,” said Jean-Christophe Lalanne, ‎CIO of Air France-KLM Group.

India’s civil aviation is ready to take off. Enterprise IT makers such as Oracle, Dell, HPE, Juniper Networks, IBM, Cisco, SAP, EMC, Brocade, among others are awaiting for big orders.

Baburajan K

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