The Airport Ecosystem – reinvented!

Julia Sattel

Senior Vice President, Airlines, Amadeus IT Group

This content is only available in this language.

Download our latest airline industry report: Reinventing the Airport Ecosystem.

The airport environment as we know it today is undergoing massive transformation, and if predictions are correct, airports of the future will become functional, efficient and even exciting destination attractions that we can look forward to visiting.  Our airline industry report -Reinventing the Airport Ecosystem- takes a closer look at the changing face of tomorrow’s airports.

Airports represent a mini-world

The way airports function is largely dependant on the wider environment in which they operate. Influenced by economic indicators, politics, environmental pressures, legislative rulings, social demographics and technology innovation, airports play a major strategic role in any country's economy.

Wake-up, we're unhappy!

But like any business, airports must evolve to meet the demands of the customers they serve, and with 72% of today's airline passengers stressed and unhappy with the overall journey experience, a dramatic wake-up call is required.  Fortunately, airports are already rising to the challenge, leaning heavily on technological advancement to help drive change and innovation.

What does the airport want to 'be'?

This is a key question for airport stakeholders and will determine the approach they take in terms of architectural design, financing, service offering, level of automation, location and engagement with other airport players. The models put forward include:

  • 'mini-city' airport: a self-sufficient entity, separate from its local surroundings, offering full passenger services
  • 'city-extension' airport: tightly integrated into the local city and treated as a community resource
  • 'mall' airport: where the array of shopping and entertainment facilities on offer will attract even non-flying customers
  • 'walkway' airport:

    minimal on-site facilities, designed for passengers to check-in remotely and just 'arrive and fly'


  • 'bus-station' airport: a no-frills atmosphere where speed and efficiency are key.  Drop off, pass through security, board and fly, with little or no emphasis on added-value services

Change comes at a price

The aviation business is by its very nature volatile, with rising fuel costs and squeezed margins on one side, and the need to invest in technology and services on the other. The answer to this conundrum: the pursuit of non-aeronautical revenues (retail, leisure, dining, land rental), and new approaches to financing the airport infrastructure (asset sharing, modular architecture, community/ecosystem funding, public/private partnerships).

The next 10-20 years holds great potential for airports and all those involved in air travel, and as this report will demonstrate, innovation, collaboration and engagement will determine the success of tomorrow's airport ecosystem.

Download the free reportand don’t hesitate to give us your feedback.

Follow us on twitter @AmadeusITGroupand keep visiting this blog as we bring you more of the report’s insights under the category: Airline Industry Report