The COVID-19 pandemic, an accelerator for airport digitalization

Guest Author by Guest Author | Mar 15, 2021

The new reality and how to face it

The year 2020 has undoubtedly been the most challenging year ever for aviation. 2021 started similarly, with continued travel restrictions. There is some light at the end of the tunnel with the start of vaccinations worldwide, but it will still take some time before we see the positive effect of the vaccinations and relaxation of travel restrictions. During this period, it will be crucial to prepare for the reboot of the aviation industry.

Staff reductions and the impacts

In recent months, airports across Europe have reduced large numbers of staff to save costs during the downturn. Unfortunately, this will have negative consequences once the recovery phase starts. While some jobs may be easier to reinstate, many highly skilled and experienced employees will have moved on to other industries. Compensating for this loss of expertise places more urgency on the requirement for modernization and digitalization of airports. The result could be automation and externalization of expert services to manage operations, ensuring future competitiveness of airports and airlines.

Digitalization of airports

Most industry experts see digitalization as a key enabler to not only handle the pandemic, but also the restart and recovery period once restrictions are lifted. Digital services support organizations by providing a better passenger journey throughout the airport. Passenger processing has evolved and will continue to do so, requiring adaptation from airports.  Due to the pandemic and travel restrictions, passenger confidence also needs to be restored through different measures like cleanliness, overall customer experience, and efficiency.   In an increasingly digital world, it appears that more automation is on the horizon.

Starting from the basics

Very often, when discussing digitalization, the focus is on visualization and data exchange with the passenger. In fact, there are many basics to be addressed in terms of the collection and processing of multiple sources of data. Connectivity of assets, equipment and resources are key elements of enabling access to the Internet-of-Things and being able to access anything from anywhere. Therefore, it is necessary to focus first on the essentials, lifting all the data silos and building an infrastructure that allows to share information easily for all stakeholders, customers and third parties engaged.

Connection has never been easier

Technology is giving us now a huge leap in getting closer to the goal of multi-connectivity. With applications on the rise running on the edge based on swarm technology without the necessity of centralized configuration and offering multi channel communications, it has become much easier to realize this challenge. In a world of connectivity, all assets and equipment will be able to communicate which makes it much easier for staff to respond efficiently and appropriately to all changes, deviations, or breakdowns. If airports want to be able to run their operations in the future it is a must to invest in these technologies, making the entire process more resilient and less affected by any turbulence ahead.

In this sense: let’s connect.

Andreas started his career in aviation over 15 years ago at Frankfurt airport as project manager for operational IT projects. He later became responsible for the implementation of an operational business intelligence solution at the airport before he joined Amorph Systems back in 2013. Since then, he is responsible for business development of the passenger flow solutions under the brand and the connectivity solutions running under Andreas is a hands-on manager, always looking for innovative approaches to improve the industry and the daily life of the Amorph Systems customers.

The article was provided by a third party and, as such, the views expressed therein and/or presented are their own and may not represent or reflect the views of ACI, its management, Board, or members. Readers should not act on the basis of any information contained in the blog without referring to applicable laws and regulations and/or without appropriate professional advice.

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