The potential of digital technologies within the airport environment was explored in a recent study titled “Airport Digital Transformation”, conducted by Arthur D. Little and commissioned by Amadeus.
“The growth of global air travel, increasing infrastructure constraints and higher traveler expectations have created a new challenge for airports: how to maximize existing facilities and deliver value to all stakeholders,” Amadeus said in regards to commissioning the report.
In addition, this summer, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) warned that an increasing number of airports do not have the capacity to handle all the flights airlines want to deliver. And with global passenger numbers set to double within the next 20 years, the pressure is on for airports to adapt to a new environment.
Three clusters of technologies, which airports are likely to focus on, were defined in the report:
- Core enabling technologies such as big data and cloud technology,
- Process automation and integration such as the Internet of Things, mobile technologies and smart energy systems,
- Fringe technologies like virtual modelling and blockchain.
The report highlighted the ways new technologies can help airports achieve greater efficiency and reduce cost, and also embrace the concept of digital transformation in order to meet the increasing expectations from passengers, airlines and stakeholders.
Also, the report identified a number of barriers to digital investment, including a lack of strategic clarity on digital transformation; lack of collaboration between airports and airlines, and issues with non-digital mindsets within airport environments.
“As the expectations of passengers, airlines and shareholders grow, airports must maximise their existing infrastructure, improve efficiency and ensure that their proposition delivers value to all stakeholders. This report demonstrates that digital technology is enabling them to achieve these objectives,” said John Jarrell, Head of Airport IT at Amadeus.
Arthur D. Little interviewed senior executives at more than 15 major airports worldwide to inform the study, and incorporated views from a variety of industry experts.