Airport World - Billy Shallow

ACI World’s senior director for security, technology and innovation, Billy Shallow, considers how technology and the smart use of data will continue to transform the airport industry.

Airports need to become smarter, making use of digital transformation to become more efficient and make journeys as seamless, safe, and secure as possible, whilst utilising undervalued opportunities such as through enhanced non-aeronautical revenues.

As an industry, IT spend is projected to continue its steady year-on-year growth since 2020 to support this push for digitalisation, with 93% of airports expecting their IT spend to stay the same or increase in 2023 compared to 2022. Last year’s airport IT spend rose to an estimated $6.8 billion.

Airports across the world are investing in key technologies to improve the passenger journey, reducing bottlenecks in the process, and optimising resources. Whilst some of these technologies are not new, such as self-bag drops and biometric journeys, there are new innovations that can really shape the journey of the passenger.

Business intelligence solutions are also at the forefront of airport IT investment priorities, with 93% or more airports planning business intelligence initiatives for asset management and flight operations by 2025.

Data has been seen as the new oil: The most valuable asset in the world. Airports are becoming more advanced in how they set up and manage Smart Data Hubs. A Smart Data Hub takes a holistic approach to delivering tangible business benefits from investments in enterprise data capabilities.

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