How cloud technology will help airports adapt to the new climate

In the modern age, cloud computing is as standard as an Excel spreadsheet in many industries. However, when it comes to getting the most out of technology, there is a lot of room for growth in aviation. Nonetheless, those behind the digital systems in this market have made great strides in this area and recognize the benefits for airlines and airports of increasing cloud usage across the globe.

Passengers would have noticed several new systems in place since returning to the sky after being on the ground for several months, but there could be more significant changes in this next chapter. Photo: SITA

Development prospects

Several sectors of aviation have made good use of cloud-based systems. For example, cloud computing has helped operators launch routes faster. In addition, these systems have helped to make general passenger processes more efficient.

In any case, it is the world’s largest hubs that have made the most progress with cloud technology. However, SITA (Société Internationale de Télécommunications Aéronautiques), the leading specialist in air transport communications and information technology, points out that small and medium-sized airports have the same needs as power plants in the current climate.

Regional and international passengers need the same digital experience and benefits at the airport. In addition, the expectations of the airline are higher and higher when it comes to digitization. It is also important to note the needs of aviation partners such as service and travel partners. As a result, the use of cloud technology is extended at all levels.

The maturation of cloud processes has enabled organizations to implement modern systems affordably and securely. Airports can deploy “common shared approaches” reasonably while reducing space, maintenance and infrastructure. Services such as check-in, baggage drop-off and off-airport processing use this technology.

Rolls-Royce BR-715 engine intake and wing trailing edge of a Boeing 717-200 flying through the clouds during the Paris-Airshow 1999
Cloud computing is the on-demand availability of IT system resources without direct user management, which helps reduce costs, accelerate processes, and increase reliability, mobility, scalability, and uptime. security. Photo: Getty Images

Follow the requirements

Sergio Colella, President of SITA Europe, spoke to Simple Flying about the plethora of solutions available for airports to help them adapt to constantly changing conditions. Ultimately, while airports previously focused primarily on safety, cost and speed benefits, the pandemic has brought new demands on the industry and is now catalyzing the adoption of cloud computing.

“COVID has accelerated an existing trend towards the automation of passenger travel, where your mobile is your remote control for travel and your face acts as your boarding pass. Smart Path, with SITA Flex, enables this experience. SITA Smart Path is a suite of integrated, cloud-based biometric solutions designed to enable a low-contact airport experience for greater efficiency and passenger satisfaction, enabling passengers to interact with all touchpoints across the globe. airport via their mobile devices. Colella told Simple Flying.

“For example, Rome Fiumicino Airport uses our Smart Path technology and allows you to board using your biometrics. At Beijing Capital International Airport, SITA Smart Path dramatically speeds up passenger processing (for example, more than 400 passengers can board an Airbus A380 in less than 20 minutes). Smart Path also allows passengers to scan their face rather than looking for their boarding pass when shopping duty free.

NEC Corp tests new facial recognition system at Narita International Airport
SITA Flex and Smart Path both seek to reduce unnecessary touchpoints, using cloud and biometric systems. Photo: Getty Images

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A lot to cover

The benefits of cloud technology run across the spectrum of aviation. Airlines and passengers can benefit from these solutions on several levels.

Modern platforms enable reliable, real-time collaboration at scale in a cloud-based environment. As a result, the aviation industry is innovating to create new ways of working together around the world. It scales current solutions and infrastructure cost-effectively.

The market is embracing the cloud and its reuse. This technology has the ability to easily integrate into current environments. It can also be modernized and scalable while becoming more agile to handle increased volatility, using shared services, on demand.

Ryanair, Kiwi.com, Airline tickets
Due to the wave of new travel requirements following the rise of the global health crisis and associated restrictions, airports of all sizes must evolve and introduce new systems to allow passengers to move efficiently. Photo: Getty Images

SITA notes that its cloud platforms meet the requirements for airport operations and for the aircraft to be more price sensitive, more responsive and more resilient. This factor allows agility to quickly adapt to volatility caused by fluctuations in demand.

  • The SITA Flex cloud platform offers mobile-compatible common-use technology to facilitate contactless customer processing and improve operational efficiency, supporting staged deployment of cloud-based systems.
  • SITA Connect SDN helps the market to migrate its applications to the cloud.
  • SDN (Software Defined Networking) offers application-based networking that provides faster, more resilient and more agile connectivity, supporting cloud native applications. It allows multiple airlines, ground agents and other tenants to access the same virtualized infrastructure in the cloud.
  • SITA’s Omnichannel Contact Services (OCS) help meet the needs of passengers during times of disruption, informing and reassuring them through many different channels. Cloud-based and easy to adopt, they allow agents to work remotely and virtually assist travelers.

Overall, there is a range of solutions that SITA has put in place to help airports adapt. With safety and security being the focal point of operations in today’s era, stakeholders in the aviation industry will no doubt be keen to keep the momentum going with the use of the cloud.

The likes of Air New Zealand are betting big on cloud technology, while Etihad praised the industry’s abilities to improve the passenger experience. Overall, cloud computing will combine well with broader initiatives such as biometrics and mobile apps to help airports and airlines serve passengers smoothly in this crucial stage of the recovery.

What do you think of the deployment of cloud technology in the aviation industry? What do you think of the prospects for these systems across airports? Let us know what you think of the initiatives in place in the comments section.

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About Dianne Stinson

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