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A technological revolution

Posted: 7 February 2012 | Mark Glover, Commissioning Editor, International Airport Review | No comments yet

The first conference of its kind for International Airport Review and given the astonishing recent growth of Information Technology within air – ports, Airport Information Technology 2011 was a conference that was able to cover all aspects of the vast subject.

The event took place on the 6 and 7 of December 2011 at the Sheraton Skyline Hotel, Heathrow attracting over 100 delegates.

Philip Langsdale, Chief Information Officer at BAA began proceedings by highlighting the key objectives at Heathrow Airport that can be im – proved by Information Technology. Mr. Langsdale highlighted baggage, security and passenger engagement as some of the areas that are being targeted by BAA.

Referred to in the previous presentation, Hugh Carr-Archer, Chief Executive Officer at Aurora Computer Services Ltd and Dr Nick Whitehead then gave a fascinating joint pres – entation on the role of biometrics applications for airports.

The first conference of its kind for International Airport Review and given the astonishing recent growth of Information Technology within air - ports, Airport Information Technology 2011 was a conference that was able to cover all aspects of the vast subject. The event took place on the 6 and 7 of December 2011 at the Sheraton Skyline Hotel, Heathrow attracting over 100 delegates. Philip Langsdale, Chief Information Officer at BAA began proceedings by highlighting the key objectives at Heathrow Airport that can be im - proved by Information Technology. Mr. Langsdale highlighted baggage, security and passenger engagement as some of the areas that are being targeted by BAA. Referred to in the previous presentation, Hugh Carr-Archer, Chief Executive Officer at Aurora Computer Services Ltd and Dr Nick Whitehead then gave a fascinating joint pres - entation on the role of biometrics applications for airports.

The first conference of its kind for International Airport Review and given the astonishing recent growth of Information Technology within air – ports, Airport Information Technology 2011 was a conference that was able to cover all aspects of the vast subject.

The event took place on the 6 and 7 of December 2011 at the Sheraton Skyline Hotel, Heathrow attracting over 100 delegates.

Philip Langsdale, Chief Information Officer at BAA began proceedings by highlighting the key objectives at Heathrow Airport that can be im – proved by Information Technology. Mr. Langsdale highlighted baggage, security and passenger engagement as some of the areas that are being targeted by BAA.

Referred to in the previous presentation, Hugh Carr-Archer, Chief Executive Officer at Aurora Computer Services Ltd and Dr Nick Whitehead then gave a fascinating joint pres – entation on the role of biometrics applications for airports.

Rob Watkins, Regional Vice President, North Europe and Sub-Sahara Africa at SITA, discussed the theme of the ‘smart airport’, touching on the role of self-service within the customer process. To make airports run smarter and more efficiently requires technology that is second nature; a mantra conveyed by Arjen Vriens, Senior Manager, Global Partners at Motorola Solutions Inc. Seamless connectivity, real time information and practicality in the hands of users were all topics that were covered.

It is interesting to note the rise of smartphones and specifically smartphone applications (apps) that are now being utilised by airports to compliment a passenger’s customer experience through the terminal buildings. Elgar van Geldermalsen, Manager, Sales Mobile Development at M2Mobi, a company which specialises in the development of apps, shared a fascinating presentation on the app that his company had developed for Schiphol Airport, Amsterdam.

Another airport which has firmly grasped the potential of the mobile app is Copenhagen. Christian Poulsen, Vice President of Assets and Technology at the airport talked about their app which can be tailored towards a passenger’s needs as they pass through the terminal buildings recommending restaurants and shops, based on their previous visits. It was an interesting talk and one that stoked a lively question and answer debate after the presentation.

John de Giorgio, Managing Director from Shireburn Software gave an interesting talk about the software capabilities that can assist retail concessions within an airport. This was followed by George Ellis, Vice President, Information Systems and Telecommunications at the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority who spoke about the process of incorporating Wi-Fi into the airports and what challenges may occur.

A joint presentation by Niels Jonker, Chief Technology Officer of Boingo Wireless and John Payne, Principal at Pueblo Technology Group followed up on George Ellis’ talk highlighting the possible security breaches that can occur in a Wi-Fi open airport.

Wayne Smith, Head of Information Services at Birmingham Airport gave a general overview of how IT has changed at Birmingham affecting all aspects of operations including Air Traffic Management and winter operations.

Paul Behan, Head of Passenger Experience at IATA finished the first day by giving an enthusiastic talk about the importance of the passenger experience within an airport and how this can be enhanced by effective technology.

Following an informative and fascinating first day, delegates and speakers networked at the drinks reception that took place at the hotel bar.

The next morning Andy Murphy, Manager of Information Technology at the Dublin Airport Authority (DAA) showcased the integration of technology into Dublin Airport’s recently constructed Terminal Two. Gerry Luttrell, Head of IT and Technology also at the DAA, spoke about the role of IT within security at Dublin and how it can assist with CCTV, queue management and other aspects of security.

Binnur Guleryuz, from TAV Information Technologies also highlighted the importance of mobile apps and the effect these can have on passenger transit throughout the terminal. This was followed by a presentation from Leonadis Darevelis, Director of IT and the Technology Business unit at Athens International Airport who then profiled the successful technological workings of the airport. Michael Zaddach, Senior Vice President of IT at Munich Airport was next and outlined the airport’s new IT innovations, including the new ‘InfoGate’ unit which provides a fully interactive ‘assistant’ who can assist passengers movement and enquiries around the terminal.

Dominic Walker, Product Manager at Northrup Grumann, spoke about the role of collaboration and sharing within an airport environment and how this can be enhanced by effective technology. This was a subject em – bellished by Tim Hardy, Airside Director at BAA, who discussed the process of Airport Collaborative Decision Making (A-CDM), an increasingly important aspect of modern airport operations.

Dominic Messi, Deputy Executive Director and CIO at Los Angeles World Airports, then gave a detailed case study on the Airport Response Coordination Center (ARCC) that has been integrated at the terminals.

Gerry Otterspeer, Bosch Product Marketing Manager for CCTV closed the event by putting forward the benefits of effective CCTV within an airport.

Looking forward

It is obvious that this is a sector that will continue to affect almost every angle of an airport’s workings. It was established that simplicity, efficiency and the ‘passenger experience’ must continue to be a key part of an airport’s Information Technology programme.

The event was seen as a networking and informative success by both delegates and speakers and plans are already in place for a follow up event for 2012. International Airport Review would like to thank all the speakers for their informative presentations and to our sponsors and exhibitors for their valuable involvement.

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