The Top Airport Technology and Innovation Priority Areas

Sarah Nebbal by Sarah Nebbal | Apr 27, 2023

ACI World Airport IT Standing Committee (WAITSC) convene in Doha, Qatar

From 20–22 February 2023, the ACI World Airport IT Standing Committee (WAITSC) convened its 25th Meeting in Doha, Qatar. This meeting brought together airport IT executives and technology leaders from around the world, including our global airport representatives, as well as our esteemed ACI World Business Partners: Collins Aerospace, Veovo, SITA, Barich Inc, and T-Systems.

The meeting kicked off with Mr. Suhail Kadri, Senior SVP Technology & Innovation of Hamad International Airport (HIA) and the WAITSC Committee Chair, extending a warm welcome to all the attendees. Mr. Badr Mohammed Al-Meer, Chief Operating Officer of HIA, delivered an inaugural speech highlighting the crucial role of technology leadership in the aviation sector and the need for collaboration and shared solutions, with WAITSC playing a pivotal role in achieving these objectives for the airport community.

Learn more about ACI World Airport IT initiatives.

Top airport IT challenges and solutions for airports

One of the highlights of the meeting was the opportunity for airport members to share updates on their ongoing projects, challenges, and identify common themes for further discussion. Various topics were covered, including rapid digitalization, emergent technologies, cost pressures and labor shortages, effective governance, IT and non-IT functions, logistics at scale, robotization and automation, and the ongoing focus on cargo post-pandemic. Additionally, our WAITSC World Business Partners presented on industry IT challenges and the work they are doing to address them.

The meeting also featured updates on the progress of various working groups, such as the Twin Transition program, ACRIS, digital transformation, cybersecurity, and the creation of new groups like the 5G rapid response group. The results of the SITA IT Insight 2022 were shared and analyzed with the group, providing valuable insights for the Committee’s strategic planning.

Outcome of the WAITSC meeting

In response to the discussions and progress made in 2022, the Committee developed a multi-year strategy and workplan, identifying five focus areas and several action items to address the challenges faced by the aviation sector. The meeting concluded with a tour of HIA, where attendees had the opportunity to visit the airport’s consolidated operations centre, witness demonstrations of the airport’s anti-drone system and FOD detection solution, review new advanced checkpoint screening lanes, and explore the airport’s Orchard Garden.

Overall, the 25th meeting of ACI World Airport IT Standing Committee was a successful gathering of airport IT executives and technology leaders. It provided a platform for discussing ongoing projects, identifying common themes, and developing a strategic plan to tackle the challenges faced by the aviation industry. The meeting also fostered global collaboration and shared solutions, further strengthening the role of WAITSC in driving technological innovation in the airport community. Stay tuned for more updates from WAITSC as we continue to work towards a more connected and efficient aviation ecosystem.

What is the role of the ACI World Airport IT Standing Committee?

The role of the WAITSC is to assist ACI World (the World Governing Board and/or the Secretariat, as appropriate), and:

  • Monitor industry developments and trends and their implications on airports.
  • Advise on strategic, policy and technical issues, and help formulate industry positions.
  • Help define industry best practice and standards (where appropriate).
  • Assist in the production of guidance material, training content, and other publications.
  • Advise on the need and development of industry benchmark surveys analysis and reports.

The WAITSC typically meets in person every nine months, with its venue normally rotating among the different ACI Regions. It also and meets virtually every quarter. The Committee also operates through webinars, conferences calls, and correspondence.

Sarah Nebbal

Sarah Nebbal

Manager, Airport Technology and Operations
Sarah Nebbal is the Manager in Airport Technology and Operations at ACI World and serves as the Secretariat of the World Airport IT Standing Committee. Her role encompasses a diverse range of responsibilities, including but not limited to; providing support to the different working groups and a task force of the committee, advising the ICAO cybersecurity and trust framework panel, contributing to ACI DEI initiatives, and implementing new technology tools to optimize the airport community's operational efficiency.
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