Digitization: the challenge of modern airport management

By Pedro Sánchez, Senior Product Manager Ikusi NOVIEMBRE 2019

Digitization is on everyone's mind. But, the concept has different interpretations depending on the field in which we are going to act. Specifically, in the airport sector when we talk about digitalization, what do we mean?

The process is based on the need for airport managers, operators and planners to obtain information in a simplified, orderly and simple way on the state of the multiple airport processes, in order to better understand the reality of the airport and, consequently, make the best decisions. A purpose that is complicated in such a complex environment as airport infrastructures.

Imagine a pyramid. At the base, we have multiple systems and devices constantly operating and generating data. At a higher level of the pyramid we find the network of business services in which these millions of data converge, which must be transformed into business intelligence to improve and optimize airport processes.

In an airport, the Airport Operational Control Center (AOCC) is the airport management core, which provides the management of operations in a single location and in real time. It carries out the continuous management of resources, means and infrastructures, which affect operational processes in real time, and it receives the millions of data generated by the airport's systems and services.


Spider TAM, the ally of digitization

At this point in the pyramid, Ikusi's Spider TAM (Total Airport Management) Platform, the Collaborative Digital Platform for the AOCC, comes into action, providing those responsible for the control areas with a global, integral and centralized image of the airport in real time.

Spider TAM uses advanced analytical tools, business intelligence (BI) and big data to monitor and analyze a large volume of data from multiple sources and airport systems.

In this way, Spider TAM monitors the status of the processes and the coordinated management of incidents in multiple areas such as operations (punctuality, cancellations, deviations, use of resources, managed passengers); passengers (detection of bottlenecks, lack of resources or possibilities for improvement); luggage (luggage processed in arrivals and departures, use of collection belts); infrastructure (maintenance, non-availability, congestion of access roads to the airport, level of parking occupation); etc.

At the apex of the pyramid of the digitalization of an airport is the AOCC. It is here that airport operators and managers visualize the information supplied to them by Spider TAM. The Ikusi platform thus becomes a critical tool that facilitates the action (and not the re-action) of managers and operators, who can exploit, in a centralized, secure and multi-user way, the operational capacity of processes and systems from a dynamic perspective of the airport.

This digital approach to airport management translates into multiple benefits such as collaborative operation and better decision-making, a global view of the airport and optimization of resources and operating costs.

But, digitalization mainly responds to the two major challenges facing airports in the 21st century: operational efficiency and improving the passenger experience.