Evolution of airport IT necessary to keep up with new business models

Yannick Beunardeau

Global Head of Sales and Marketing, Airport IT, Amadeus IT Group

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Increasing passenger demand for a more pleasant experience and new external challenges are forcing airports to become sophisticated and business oriented companies.  Simultaneously, airports are expected to minimise capital cost investment, increase ROI, cater to pressure from airlines on aeronautical fees, and adhere to more restrictive regulations.

Airport IT system conference


A traumatic experience at the airport, whether it is lost luggage or excessive waits, can really put a damper on your holiday. As I discussed recently during my presentation at theSmart Airports conference in Munich, airports are an integral part of the travel supplier chain to customers, linked, in the passenger’s mind, to a good or bad trip experience.

This struggle to meet demand is becoming a serious issue for airports, especially in light of the competitive growth observed in alternative methods of transport such as high-speedrailtravel.

But can the current airport IT systems face these challenges?

Currently, each airport division operates without the necessary knowledge or information to maximise collective performance, and subsequently no single partner has the ‘complete picture’. As a result, co-ordination of operational processes is compromised.

The link in the travel chain that demands improvement is the integration between all airport stakeholders but the limitation is the lack of compatibility of their systems. This inevitably needs more joined-up thinking and integration between airports, airlines and ground handlers which can be achieved with the deployment of a collaborative decision making model.

On top of this many airports today are operating with old-fashioned legacy IT systems that are unable to cope in response.

A common IT platform that makes A-CDM a reality, offering a single source of data across all actors in the travel eco-system (including travel sellers,airlines, airports, ground handlers, passengers, air traffic controllers and border agency officers) would solve many of the issues in the turnaround processes.

As passenger numbers rise, the aviation industry must increase and improve the experience it offers to avoid being jeopardised by alternative modes of travel – an approach that is central to the EU’s travel and transport strategy.

If airports want to cope with current and future demands, then they can’t afford to ignore these challenges.

Head over to ourAirport IT websitefor more about this topic and let us know what you think below.