A survey of IT trends among the world’s top 200 airport operators has revealed that tackling congestion and meeting security demands are the main drivers behind IT investment.
The 4th Airport IT Trends Survey, carried out by SITA in conjunction with Airline Business and Airports Council International (ACI), stated that around 2.1 billion passengers boarded aircraft last year. These numbers were set to continue to grow at over five per cent per annum, stressing the need for action to be taken.
This annual survey found that many airports will, over the next two years, adopt new technology in order to use their existing airport capacity more efficiently, particularly in the passenger self-service area and shared use systems.
Hani El Assaad, SITA regional vice president, Middle East and Turkey, said, “Delays at security, check-in and baggage collection are all touch points which frustrate the travelling public and they are now at the top of the airport IT agenda when it comes to investing in new technologies such as self service kiosks, remote passenger check in, fast bag drop-off and biometrics.
“Passenger and baggage processing are the priorities for the overwhelming majority of respondents to this year’s survey when it comes to IT investment and this is mainly driven by a desire to improve customer service.”
El Assaad believed there were two fronts of attack: physical and data security. Airport executives were planning to invest in passenger security such as biometrics at border control, the latest CCTVs, perimeter and parking surveillance systems, access control systems as additional layers of physical security.
“Airports are also planning to improve data security by investing in disaster recovery plans, PCI compliance and other information security management concerns,” he said.
The survey finds that airports are set to invest heavily on improving airside operations to address traffic and aircraft movement congestion. Investments in new geographic information systems (GIS), ground and vehicle tracking systems, and collaborative decision making (CDM) tools are on top of the airport operations IT shopping list for the next two years.