Fitting together the Airport IT jigsaw puzzle essential for successful operations

Yannick Beunardeau

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

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During my presentation at the Aviation IT Solutions Conference in London recently, I spoke extensively about how the only way an airport can operate efficiently is to ensure airlines, ground handlers and passengers have accurate, up-to-date information about flights, delays, and when necessary, contingency plans. The problem is they are all just one part of a complex jigsaw within an airport environment, and only when all pieces fit together, in real-time, can airport operations run successfully.

airport picture from the sky



Ground handlers

Ground handlers are a part of that jigsaw and play an integral role in airport operations – but their usage of resource could be still highly improved, which would increase their profit margin significantly.

For example, a major ground handler faced a multitude of challenges. They needed to find a new generation departure control system that was used by multiple airlines and an IT company that could implement the complex migration.

They selected Amadeus based upon our proven track record in the airport environment, the wide use of Amadeus solutions by more than 120 airlines, and the expected operational benefits. To date – they have reduced training for check-in staff by 40% and 50% for load controllers while simultaneously improving weight and balance efficiency, all of which helped to improve resource allocation.

Other pieces of the jigsaw

However, as mentioned previously, ground handlers are just one piece of the airport puzzle. Airlines suffer from increased fuel wastage and costs from queuing, decreased on-time records, all of which results in poor brand perception. Airports are plagued by limited slot availability, difficulties to increase revenues, increasing costs, and need to do more without big infrastructure capex. These things create huge challenges to make passengers happy and to mitigate delays – which can hurt the bottom lines of all airport players.

Integrating systems and collaborating across the airport ecosystem would reduce congestion and laborious manual processes, but most importantly provide information seamlessly in real-time. The concept ofmulti-airport Collaborative Decision Makingthrough the sharing of information between airports will improve visibility of the complete pan-airport landscape.

The power of a centralised database sharing data in real-time will allow the next generation of travellers to benefit from never-before-seen customer service, thanks to collaboration and a common situational awareness through one shared platform, offering a community of both tangible and intangible benefits to all actors involved.

Currently, all airport players will always be one step behind the others in any planning or aircraft turn-around, as information is sent only when that particular actor is ready. With instant updates, all actors would be working from the same information seamlessly, meaning they can re-allocate accordingly.

Finally, decision making is currently done based on the information at hand, and the most convenient/efficient way for each individual actor. By sharing real time information and knowing exactly what is going on at every step of the journey at every touch point, decisions can be made together, developing real collaborative decision making models which will improve overall airport efficiency, minimise the break of service-level agreements and develop a more profitable and cost effective future for everyone.

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