Point of View

You can make the Collaborative Airport of the Future a Reality, Today


Imagine this. It's cold: below freezing. There's a fog coming in. Ice on the tarmac has led to delays in many passengers disembarking and slowed down the unloading of cargo. Everyone wants to take off on time — before the fog arrives. But to make that happen, you need extra de-icers, fast.

If your stress levels are already rising, take a moment. Now imagine this. All the different agencies in your airport — the airport-operations staff, air-traffic control, the ground handlers, everyone — use intelligent, API-connected systems that continually and securely share data.

The ground operations teams, having received alerts earlier in the day from systems linked to weather forecasting services, already have the de-icers ready. The cleaning and maintenance crews are feeding minute-by-minute updates to the teams running not just the passenger information systems but also the teams loading and unloading the aircraft.

This sharing of information, and the use of data-driven decisions, minimizes disruption. Planes get off the tarmac faster. Agencies have the right staff and equipment where they need to be to keep things moving. And because the passenger-information teams are in the loop, passengers always know what's happening — so their experience is happier, and they feel more in control.

To achieve this end, airports need to transition to an operations model based on collaborative decision making (CDM). 

What does successful collaboration look like?

Successfully implementing ACDM requires both cultural and technological changes to how airports work. These range from the ways in which stakeholders interact, through the optimisation of workflows to the adoption of new protocols and APIs to facilitate seamless data exchange.

Typically, adopting ACDM will see airports:

  • Modernise platforms: from airlines, through ground handlers to air-traffic control, stakeholders move from siloed, manual systems to modern collaboration-enabled systems.
  • Adopt modern APIs and data-sharing protocols: at the same time, different functions adopt data-sharing protocols and standards, to enable seamless information sharing.
  • Switch to data-driven operations: using modern, AI-driven solutions, the airport as a whole, switches to a data-driven, intelligent operating model.
  • Build a culture of ownership: based on up-to-the-minute insights, stakeholders take ownership of their part in delivering an excellent customer experience.

In a fully collaborative airport, each stakeholder has a detailed understanding of the metrics most important to their work and their contribution to passenger experience. Using information from their own and partner systems, they have the insights they need to deploy their resources in the way best calculated to stay on top of those metrics and meet their service-level goals.

The benefits of collaboration

Moving to a collaborative model benefits operators and passengers in ways that improve the working environment, the passenger experience and important financial metrics.

Benefits of adopting a technology- and data-driven collaborative approach include:

  • Greater efficiency in the deployment of staff and resources, helping to get the best possible returns on your investment in both.
  • Increased operational efficiency, with fewer delays and other problems that lead to unplanned costs and complications.
  • Improved passenger experience, thanks to seamless information sharing, staff and systems keep passengers constantly informed, helping them feel empowered and in control.

In a high-functioning collaborative airport, airlines and other key stakeholders — ground staff, maintenance crews, safety teams etc. — have the information they need to be in the right place at the right time.

Because these stakeholders have the information, they need to be more efficient, the collaborative model materially improves the passenger experience almost instantly on deployment. In addition, because the passengers themselves are better informed, they feel included and more in control. This also improves their travel experience.

What next?

IBS Software is a leading SaaS solutions provider to the travel industry, managing mission-critical operations for customers in the aviation sector. IBS iAirport is a market-leading airport-operations platform that helps many of the world's major airports safeguard passenger experiences with reliable, cost-effective, and optimized airport management across all functions and stakeholders. Find out how IBS Software can help you modernize your airport operations, today.


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