Speaker Series: Airport IT & Security
Shane Zbrodoff, Managing Director of Pilot Project International, discusses his highlights from Airport IT & Security 2018, and what he’s looking forward to at this year’s event.
Looking back at Airport IT & Security 2018, what did you enjoy talking about most?
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is such an exciting and interesting area and I was very proud to discuss this in front of my peers. There is so much opportunity and promise for AI and aviation seems very ripe for applying AI into the field. What was most interesting from this presentation, was my interactive crowd feedback component, which clearly showed how advanced the audience was when it came to applying AI. When compared to industry studies, the audience members appeared to have already undergone some internal AI initiatives whereas most studies showed much talk, but little action. This bodes well for the industry and shows how advanced the aviation industry has really become. The AI impact is large and I am excited to continue to be a part of this evolution.
What did you enjoy hearing discussed most at Airport IT & Security?
Innovation has now transformed from a conversation to common practice in airports and aviation. Mats from Swedavia always has interesting projects underway and his Function Factory has allowed the organisation to convert innovative initiatives into everyday practices, such as his presentation regarding a rapid ‘proof of concept’ approach. I am proud to echo his approach (in the way I have worked) and more organisations need facilities to rapidly convert new initiates into practice. The success of the aviation industry depends on this and I am proud to help organisations work this way also.
How can you see the industry changing over the next 12 months? What are the biggest challenges currently facing the industry?
The industry will continue to look to technology to solve some of the mainstream business issues and challenges, such as, for example, addressing rapid passenger growth. The legacy choice is to try to obtain more capital funding and construct more infrastructure, but, unfortunately, this is a challenge because this process takes a long time and the core issue is not addressed very quickly. On the other hand, Airports can look to technological solutions, which can provide solutions much more quickly (and economically with environmental considerations). I believe things such as AI, the Internet of things (IoT) and other initiatives such as data analytics will continue to be brought to the forefront as a means to address this concerns. At the same time, it is hoped that regulators (such as government) also allow some for these technologies to be used to their fullest potential as some regulations create barriers (such as how data is shared or handled).
Looking ahead to Airport IT & Security 2019, what do you think will be the most discussed topics?
AI, the Internet of Things, analytics, the use of data (data production and sharing) will continue to evolve and develop (simply because they continue to address core fundamentals of the airport business). Additionally, some of the airport business will continue to be digitised as more data is produced and regulated. I would also argue, however, some barriers in data security will also continue to be a key component of the IT stream. More and more, risk and security is a key discussion point and element of success and you cannot attack any initiative without understanding how to address these points. In other words, initiating AI, IoT, digitisation without addressing issues around risk and security creates false expectations and and simply an unrealistic dream.
At Airport IT & Security 2018, Shane spoke in detail about the applications of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the ways airports can begin their AI implementation across the board.