Enhancing the airport ecosystem with the power of data

Enhancing the airport ecosystem with the power of data

Introduction

Airports are complex ecosystems where a diverse set of stakeholders come together to form one of the backbones of today’s universal mobile communities. Together, airport operators, airlines, ground handlers, retailers, authorities, and service providers manage a vibrant, global flow of people and goods, cutting safely and securely across all borders.

To maintain this free flow, airports are leveraging digitalization to cope with their main challenges – from ever-growing passenger numbers and increasing passenger expectations to the rising importance of no aviation revenue, the reduction of airports’ environmental footprint, and the need to ensure business continuity.

Airports have achieved impressive efficiency gains by implementing digital technologies: Saving ten seconds per passenger on immigration by leveraging facial recognition technology in a walk-through tunnel solution, reducing minimum connecting times by accelerating baggage handling for selected priority bags, and reducing infrastructure costs by up to 10% through energy efficiency systems are just a few of the more prominent examples.

Yet many airports struggle to harness the full power of data as the key resource of the digital age. Too often, data remains locked in silos across different stakeholders, processes, and systems or is only available in an unstructured form. The reasons? Investment boards frequently brush aside data-driven technologies due to unclear business cases. Moreover, conventional tendering models are often illsuited to procuring digital technologies in which costs must be borne by multiple stakeholders because they also benefit several parties. Also, many stakeholders are reluctant to share their data as they fear losing commercial control over it.

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