Digitalization in airports is here to stay, now what?


The latest generation of IT solutions helps to better manage all stakeholders around key airport processes.

Digitalization has been one of the buzzwords of the last decade and of course digitalization in the aviation industry cannot be left out as it really covers all aspects of traveling.

The arrival of COVID has furthermore accelerated several activities that are passenger focused, biometrics, paperless boarding passes or alternatives such as printing on demand, the far going automation of processes from baggage handling to security checks to turn-around management, the robotisation of certain tasks, the seamless passenger experience and we can go on for some time.

Every process within an airport and during travelling can be digitized just like every process in the air can be further digitalized to better manage arrival and departure times but also traffic jams in the air. The main reason for the digitalization in aviation is overall efficiency improvement and an improved passenger experience.

By giving passengers the possibility to manage a large part of their journey themselves and at their best convenience, airports and airlines have not only been focusing on creating a more relaxed travel experience, they have also been thinking about efficiency improvements and cost reduction.

Airports can better predict passenger traffic by how and when passengers book their parking or train ride, download their boarding pass and book luggage or fast lane access.

Such predictions allow these airports to better manage staffing levels and traffic flows and even pro-actively guide passengers to the parking that still has space left, indicate when they need to arrive at the airport to avoid long lanes at security or push special promotions at the many restaurants at the expected arrival time.

Digitalization not only benefits passengers and passenger related services but also all stakeholders at the airport, from retail outlets to baggage handlers, from catering to cleaning staff by creating better insights that allows them to better plan and prepare.

Thanks to a centralization of all data and the availability and use of the same in APOC’s or Airport Operations Centres the airport has a better view on the end-to-end process when it comes to incoming and outgoing planes, passenger whereabouts, lost luggage, late arrivals of public transportation and so much more.

The latest generation of IT solutions helps to better manage all stakeholders around key airport processes.  Waiting for a Boarding Bridge, last minute fuelling or unplanned de-icing should be a thing of the past if all operational processes are well managed and predictability added thanks to the availability and the right interpretation of all data.

Each digitalization process can thus be split in two parts:

  • Digitalization of infrastructure
  • Digitalization of the passenger flow

Where the last one focuses on better handling the passenger flow, the first one takes care of bringing together all the end-to-end processes with centralised data management, process optimization and obtaining qualitative analyses as a basis for improved predictability for more accurate decision-making.

Digitalization has been key for how airports can handle the growth of passenger traffic and will be key for the next decade to improve overall performance on all levels, from experience to resource management and even for sustainability where only the parts of the airport that need to be lighted or heated are used, where unnecessary vehicle movements are avoided and garbage collection done in a smart way to name but a few examples.

Air Tech Italy and its members are key partners when it comes to the Digitalization of airports, from smart parking to the check in process, from a seamless passenger experience through better connectivity, from IT solutions that manage the different stakeholders efficiently and from smart new forms or e-mobility as a sustainable extension of the airport’s mobility offer to the latest generation of automated electric ground handling systems.

Digitalization at your airport? Let’s talk Italian know how. Let’s talk Air Tech and its members.

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