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Imperatives of information technology in aviation business

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Globally, the rapid advancement of IT technologies has become the backbone of airport business. Today, IT has made air travel, a friendly experience for travellers round the world at various airports, from automatic personnel to biometric identification.

In Nigeria, in order not to be left behind among other African countries, striving to make their airports of international standards, there has been effort by the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) to renew facilities at the airports.

Recently FAAN has engaged a bank to upgrade and brand its departures at the international wing of the Murtala Muhammed, Lagos airport and it installed wifi at the Lagos and Abuja airports, improved air conditioning at the terminals and also provided more security equipment and personnel to check passengers and their luggage.

Aside, Lagos and Abuja, other airports in the country are being upgraded like Port Harcourt, Kano, Enugu and the rest to meet world standard of an airport.

According to the Managing Director, FAAN, Saleh Dunoma, a lot has been done to improve on safety of both the airlines and passengers at these airports, stressing that passengers would soon start experiencing better facilities as soon as the new terminals were put into use.

However, with 3.6 billion passengers projected to be carried in 2016, airports are expected to spend 6 per cent of revenues on IT investments round the globe.

According to the latest SITA survey, 74 per cent of airports in the European Union consider passenger experience as the most important driver of IT investment.

It added that for airports to run optimally, all operational stakeholders must work together and communicate effectively and efficiently. Sharing information in real-time, also allow stakeholders to make fast and informed decisions, and contributes to the operational efficiency of the airport.

Indeed, from the latest security, baggage and passenger processing systems at the airports through to the latest airfield, apron and safety equipment, the greatest ‘know-how’ can be found when processes are optimized with the use of IT, said experts.

The Director of Airports for Unisys, a global information technology company, Haakan Andersson stated: “There is a strong need to improve airports business with information technologies. Speeding up processes with newest trends such as self-check-in, baggage drop and even home-printed tags are ultimately helping passengers to have quicker and more convenient experience”.

Also, the Director, Information Technology & Telecommunications Business Unit of Athens International Airport, Leonidas Daravelis said: “In our days people are more familiar with technology enhancements. This in turn makes self-service a real service of preference for many of them, providing the ability to perform their airport-related transactions and fulfill their needs at their own pace and peace of mind, with minimum assistance. This is only possible through extensive use of the available IT technology.”

“The Airport Operational Data Base (AODB) system is really the heart of an airport. It gives a 360-degree overview of what is going on at the airport in real time. If a congestion or any other problem is about to happen, the alert information is then transferred to mobile devices of employees and helps to manage the issue very quickly.

“This helps airports to be more proactive instead of reactive, and what is most important, it leaves the passengers in a better mood”, added Andersson.

Reducing noise pollution from aircraft and improving the noise climate around airports are key objectives of the European Union’s (EU) air transport policy. The purpose of this directive was to prevent an overall increase in noise levels in areas around airports.

According to the latest research by the EU, the number of people affected by noise has increased because the number of movements has increased. Historically, the ability to keep aircraft in noise abatement corridors has been complicated by difficulties in defining the corridors so that pilots could easily stay within them.

To achieve transparent and open noise management, IT-tools might help to analyze the noise level near-real time, while providing access to community members to submit a noise complaint on one hand, and to optimize available spaces for landing and taking-off.



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