Making IT happen
Airport World editor, Joe Bates, reflects on the loss of one of the team, environmental initiatives and the information technology theme of this issue.
By the time you read this we will be on the home stretch in terms of major ACI events in 2014, with just Airport Exchange in Paris and the ACI-LAC Assembly, Conference & Exhibition in Cancún to go before we start it all again next year.
I have no doubt that both will be a great success, although this year’s ACI-LAC conference will be held with a tinge of sadness following the recent passing of president Philippe Baril.
Like many of you, I knew Philippe for a long time and will miss his friendship, enthusiasm and passion for life that was evident in almost every conversation you had with him.
As ACI-LAC has said in its warm tribute, “his dedication to serving airports and the aviation industry in general is a legacy that will live on for many years to come”. His successor certainly has big shoes to fill.
On a brighter note, a story that appears to have gone under many people’s radar is aviation’s new commitment to sustainable growth made during the United Nations Climate Summit in September.
The joint pledge at this high-level forum by ICAO and the industry (co-ordinated through the Air Transport Action Group) to work more closely to reduce CO2 emissions expands on a host of existing industry initiatives already in play.
They include both ACI-NA and ACI-LAC’s decision to join the Airport Carbon Accreditation programme – see page 49 for further details.
But if you thought the ‘environment’ was the theme of this issue you’d be wrong, as this time out Information Technology is in the spotlight.
As a result, we have articles on how IT is redefining the passenger experience, helping raise customer service levels, driving revenues, tightening security and increasing the efficiency of baggage handling.
We also get the thoughts of two IT gurus – SITA’s portfolio director for airports, Andrew O’Connor, and Rockwell Collins’ vice president for international and global airports, information management services, Michael DiGeorge.
IT is, of course, the great enabler for everyone. Can you imagine life now without laptops, mobile phones and the Internet?
Speaking as someone who is old enough to remember the ‘dark ages’ before all three, I genuinely cannot.
For me, our newfound dependence on IT was highlighted this summer when after moving house I had to wait a frustrating 42 days before getting a phone line and subsequently a high-speed and reliable Internet service that connected me to the world again. Without it I had felt almost cut off from the outside world and unable to function properly. Sure, I had my mobile phone, but have you ever tried doing your supermarket shopping or setting up a standing order on your mobile? It wasn’t easy or cheap.
One thing you can be assured of is that for someone who back in the 1980s used to have to find a phone box in London that hadn’t been vandalised to file a story to my newspaper, I’m well aware of how far IT has brought us forward in terms of global communications.
Well, that’s IT and the environment taken care of then! Other topics covered in this issue include planned new air-rail links, building customer-friendly terminals and Salt Lake City International Airport.
I hope you enjoy it and look forward to meeting up with some of you at the upcoming GAD Conference in Athens in November.
View from the top
Director general, Angela Gittens, discusses ACI’s Aviation Community Recommended Information Services framework and how it can help aviation stakeholders share information more efficiently.
Doing the right thing
Salt Lake City International Airport’s Maureen Riley talks to Joe Bates about the gateway’s $1.8 billion development programme and a host of other issues ranging from customer service to airport leadership.
The new dynamic
Advancements in airport technology can redefine the passenger experience and drive airport revenues, write Olivier Houri and Franco Amalfi.
The big picture
With intelligent analysis, video cameras can potentially offer much more than just surveillance, even contributing to an airport’s bottom line, writes Bosch’s Denis Castanet.
In the spotlight
Axis Communications’ Daren Lang provides some case studies of airports that have realised the commercial and customer service rewards of intelligent video.
Advancements in RFID technology, new 2D barcodes and mobile tablets are just some of the ways IT is helping transform baggage handling at airports, writes Kim Madsen.
Faith Group’s Zachary Varwig considers how strategically using data can significantly enhance the ‘airport experience’ for passengers.
The IT crowd
Joe Bates and Justin Burns round-up the latest IT news from airports across the world.
The time is now
Andrew O’Connor, portfolio director for airport solutions at SITA, talks to Justin Burns about IT innovation.
Airport rail services are increasing as cities and governments look to improve ground transportation links and reduce the environmental impact of their gateways, writes Justin Burns.
Steve Riano reflects on the basic requirements of a good airport rail link, the challenges posed setting them up and the progress of the Dulles Corridor
Keith Hui provides his thoughts on designing customer-friendly terminals in the Asia-Pacific region.
Dr Richard Plenty and Terri Morrissey provide their thoughts on:
Sustaining high performance.
Guayaquil International Airport.
ACI's World Business Partners
The last word
Airport World catches up with Michael DiGeorge, Rockwell Collins’ vice president
for international and global airports, information management services.