Current Issues

Regular Industry Development Updates, Opinions and Talking Points relating to Manufacturing, the Supply Chain and Logistics.

Airports need to get smarter, not just bigger – Intelligent airports in today’s civil aviation market

24-Oct-2017
Airports need to get smarter, not just bigger – Intelligent airports in today’s civil aviation market
Airports are a massive part of the economy and a key player in regional growth and development. They bring many different operators and interest groups together—from airlines, ground handlers and air traffic management to consumers, retailers and, of course, regulators. Among these groups, there are lots of stakeholders with different perspectives, functions and goals. Kelly Allen, Director of Transportation in Europe North at ALE argues that airports must not just get bigger, they must better utilise their constraints such as capacity to get smarter and examine the infrastructure needed to support this new breed of Intelligent Airport.

Civil aviation is booming and airports are under constant scrutiny to maintain or improve safety levels as passenger numbers continue to grow and the number of routes and flights increase. In order to improve profitability and because of increased market pressures, airports are being driven towards operational efficiency and cost reductions. But capacity constraints due to lack of space mean it is new technologies which are starting to introduce new efficiencies.

The Internet of Things (IoT), automation, big data, robots, AI and virtual reality are becoming part of the civil aviation ecosystem, along with integrated data collection and better real-time communications channels. To make the most of these technologies, airports need to put in place processes that simplify and speed up collaboration within aviation communities.

Managing a complex ecosystem
In both operational and customer facing roles, the potential for IoT-enabled connected assets to streamline processes cannot be understated. Real-time visibility into the condition of assets or location-based services and beacons for wayfinding and asset tracking. Digital marketing and signage, live information sharing, remote sensors for monitoring runway or environmental conditions, IP cameras linking to facial recognition software or enabling whole digital control towers. Baggage handling, passenger tracking and self check-in ¬– it’s everywhere.

It’s a near impossible task to manage all these types of technology if they are rooted to individual subsystems which all need their own management and maintenance. No matter what digital tools, platforms or systems airports choose to adopt, they will never reach their full potential without the right network or communication building blocks. Further to this, ineffective implementation will increase the potential for these new devices to place a strain on network resources, introduce new vulnerabilities and affect traveller experience.

Yes, aviation industry players need to align, but airports in particular need to evolve towards cost-efficient IP-based solutions for most systems. This will immediately enable better connectivity between people, processes and smart ‘things’ - and also simplify IT management. This is where the connected airport comes in.

Digital Security – managing IoT a top priority across the board
Whether its IP security cameras, heating, ventilation and air condition (HVAC) systems or information boards, running all processes on a single network infrastructure is more cost-effective to manage and maintain and offers much greater visibility on an enterprise-wide scale. But there are dangers to poorly secured deployments and any compromised device can be a possible backdoor into the network. As more fixed and mobile devices connect to the network edge, it becomes increasingly important that these IoT devices are properly contained.

With network virtualisation techniques, it is possible to create virtual isolated environments on a single infrastructure and make IoT more manageable. This enables different teams or departments to maintain their own IoT network deployments. Virtual segmentation on the network can create ‘IoT containers’ to group together, manage and secure devices and users, and in the event of a breach, can stop threats moving east-to-west across the network.

IoT containment also makes it possible for the different departments to enforce their own quality of service (QoS) policies on the network to optimise their own operational processes. In each virtual IoT container it is possible to see and manage all the traffic and users, prioritise devices and applications, reserve or limit bandwidth, blacklist devices or monitor for suspicious traffic patterns. QoS policy enforcement can ensure that critical operational processes or network assets can always get the network resources they need to function properly.

Providing stakeholder cooperation and collaboration
Enterprises are shifting towards connected platforms, where people, processes and ‘things’ can connect and collaborate, airports included. The complicated community of stakeholders – airport operators, airlines, ground handlers, passengers, authorities and regulators – can all benefit from removing the barriers to information flow.

Airports can manage passenger movement, optimise operations and implement better emergency communications. Airlines can provide a hassle-free customer experience by relying on infrastructure such as beacons for automated notifications. Passengers can get real-time updates about estimated waiting time at security lines, locations of specific airline check-in counters, gates or baggage belts.

Retail concessions and restaurants can use location-based services to promote offers which will lead to increased interaction with passengers and a subsequent increase in revenue. Critical passenger or situational information can be shared directly between relevant parties in real-time – getting the right information to the right people, exactly when it is needed.

Open APIs – the key to connecting people with processes
For this to happen, systems need to be de-siloed and communication tools, such as instant messaging, voice, document sharing, video and alerts, need to be integrated directly into applications and systems. This is possible with open APIs beginning to come from some of the world’s leading communications vendors – giving technology partners and third-party providers the opportunity to make communication and collaboration tools a central feature of digital airport services, not a disconnected afterthought.

Intelligent airports – not just a vision, but a reality
To meet these challenges, airports need innovative solutions and infrastructure must be used more intelligently. Airports need to use technology to make the most of their budget and resources, to manage rising volumes of travellers, meet the increasing demands of tech-savvy passengers and commercial tenants.

The need for real-time information exchange will see airports adopt new technologies for a free-flow of communication. Innovations that integrate smart devices and share information at every point of a passenger’s journey, and enable greater communication between civil aviation stakeholders, will play a vital role.

But rolling out the right infrastructure needs careful planning, an eye on future developments and a security-first approach – from customer-facing services, right down to the hardware. The Intelligent Airport is more than a vision, it’s a must. With the right infrastructure, it has the potential to become a global reality.

Four Predictions for Supply Chain Operations to Kick Off 2018
1 day ago
Supply chain visibility 2018: You can’t hit what you can’t see..
1 day ago
Analysts Support a Single Model for Sales and Operations Planning
1 day ago
Industry 4.0 – Seize the Moment (in small steps)
2 days ago
Kuebix Makes 2018 Transportation Predictions That Will Shake-Up the Supply Chain
5 days ago
Looking Ahead at CRM Trends for 2018
6 days ago
Driver Shortage The Biggest Challenge Facing The Road Transport Sector In 2018 Says Paragon Survey
6 days ago
A View on Blockchain for Business—Transformational Blockbuster for 2018, or ‘Slow Burn’?
6 days ago
The State of Food & Beverage Labeling
6 days ago
2028: What Work Will Look Like a Decade from Now
1 week ago
UK manufacturing sees continued growth
1 week ago
Logistics in 2018 will be an anxiety-inducing war of tech vs. economics, and that’s great
1 week ago
GateHouse Telecom Sees ‘Connectivity’ Dominating Satellite Communications in 2018
1 week ago
Home Depot’s rumoured XPO Logistics take-over ‘bad news for UK brands’ warns ParcelHero
1 week ago
Why inkjet is the printing technology of the future
1 week ago
Is it ALL about the last mile?
4 weeks ago
Open your presents early urges ParcelHero! Faulty Black Friday purchases must be returned by Christmas Eve
4 weeks ago
Auto Manufacturers: Be Ready for Recalls
4 weeks ago
Three Business Rules to Forget in the Digital Era
1 month ago
British factories are about to increase investment at the strongest rate in four years
1 month ago
AI – Unlocking the Secrets of the Global Supply Chain
1 month ago
Manufacturing Sector Set for Significant Change in 2018
1 month ago
The Internet of Things Has Value for Prepared Manufacturers
1 month ago
Beyond the Hype—Artificial Intelligence in Manufacturing
1 month ago
Companies have until May to ensure that they are compliant with cyber security before GDPR becomes legislation
1 month ago
Supply chain 2018 – innovation hits warp speed
1 month ago
61% of organisations using forklift truck rental consider the market out of sync with today’s 24x7 requirement
1 month ago
How new approaches can bring ‘Smooth Talking’ to enterprise communications without breaking the budget
1 month ago
Logistics ECM – Advancing Documentation Distribution
1 month ago
How to keep your warehouse in sync with sales promotions
1 month ago
Transparency a Must in Food and Beverage Manufacturing
1 month ago
Getting to grips with the human aspects of automated eFulfilment
1 month ago
Online comes out on top for Black Friday 2017
1 month ago
Sound Technology Could be the Answer for Pharmaceutical Companies Weathering the Brexit Regulatory Storm
1 month ago
Why I believe monozukuri is not only the art of manufacturing, but also an art for society
1 month ago
Government funding in technology to help UK productivity
1 month ago
AEB releases new Brexit report on global trade risks, challenges, investments, and opportunities
1 month ago
Digitisation is Key to Averting the Global Food Crisis
1 month ago
10 ways #Budget2017 is good news for business owners
1 month ago
The UK Budget November 2017 – at a glance
1 month ago
Last mile delivery in the age of the online shopper
1 month ago
Retailers Maximise Christmas Profits With Eooro Online Customer Reviews
1 month ago
The budget delivers a brighter future for home deliveries; but fuels Brexit worries
1 month ago
How Manufacturers Can Avoid Black Friday Misery
1 month ago
High-Volume Manufacturing: The Moment of Truth
1 month ago
Capacity and price indices remain at extreme levels
1 month ago
Optimize Your Global Supply Chain By Integrating Your Labeling With SAP®
1 month ago
Eooro.com Launches To Help Businesses Get More Online Customer Reviews
1 month ago
60% of UK companies face a skills gap within their IT departments and cannot fill positions quickly enough
2 months ago