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IT Last modified on September 22, 2016

Talking technology

Antoine Rostworowski, ACI World’s director of airport customer experience and technology discusses the facilitation-enhancing impact of IT.

The aviation industry is expanding and becoming increasingly connected. Due to the rapid rate of innovative technologies entering the aviation marketplace, connectivity is increasing at an exponential rate.

Travelling through airport environments can be stressful; possible flight delays, long queue lines, last minute shopping, fatigue and anxiety or fear of flying can contribute to certain negative sentiments. 

Information Technology (IT) is one of the main solutions for airports to constantly meet passengers and stakeholders’ needs. Moreover, IT has become the enabler of virtually all airport business processes. 

By implementing new IT solutions, it is possible to ensure that operational requirements are consistently, efficiently and reliably met during both peak operational periods and those of flight disruption.

All of the ACI World IT initiatives are co-ordinated through the ACI World Airport IT Standing Committee (WAITSC), established by the ACI World Governing Board in April 2009. 

WAITSC main mission is to formulate Recommended Practices (RP) and develop guidelines, benchmarking and training materials to help airports find the best business solutions for themselves, their partners and their customers.

With a look towards the future, WAITSC has created the Beacons Taskforce in response to the industry’s growing dependency on beacons Bluetooth low energy technology, that allow airports, airlines and other terminal operators to efficiently communicate with passengers and staff. 

The goals of the WAITSC Beacons Taskforce is to promote a shared beacon infrastructure to reduce the cost and complexity of deployment throughout an airport; to introduce standard beacons types; to propose a business model framework for beacons usage; to provide best installation architecture; and to implement a Common Use Beacons registry. 

The WAITSC Beacons Taskforce has created a set of RPs that provide guidance on the deployment and usage of airport terminal beacons. 

The document provides essential information needed to configure, implement and manage airport beacons throughout the air terminal, as well as the technical and managerial information needed to deliver and adequately deploy a beacon service. 

The WAITSC Beacons Taskforce has been working with a variety of representatives of the air transport industry to ensure that all perspectives from diverse stakeholders are well represented. 

This joint ACI-International Aviation Transport Association (IATA) RP is now available and will be formalised by ACI during the ACI North America/World Annual General Assembly in Montréal and by IATA in the early part of 2017.

In response to the growing threat of cyber-attacks around the world, WAITSC has also created a Cybersecurity Taskforce whose mandate is to engage and educate airports on the issues of cybersecurity; define a strategy to help protect airports against cyber-attacks; and, in such an event, assist in mitigation efforts to protect airports. 

ACI World is pleased to announce that an IT Cybersecurity Benchmark tool will soon be available to airport members and World Business Partners worldwide. 

Once an assessment is completed by an airport the benchmark will provide a summary score for each of the following control areas as well as an over-all score for the airport. 

These results will be of great help to participating airports in order to identify and prioritise action plans and needs for improvement.

As innovative technologies continue to impact the aviation industry, WAITSC will continue to co-ordinate with partners and stakeholders to assist airports in improving the passenger experience through IT solutions. 

ACI is committed to supporting its member airports and helping them develop innovative, passenger centric environments that make the overall travel experience more relevant, personalised and agreeable.

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