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Digital Transformation in Airports

Digital Transformation in Airports

A number of factors symbolize the struggle airports face in their journey to host the roughly 7 billion passengers that depart from and arrive at an airport every year. Capacity constraints, growing passenger footfalls, stagnant aeronautical revenues and competition necessitate a transformation in business models, operational processes and organizational activities by leveraging emerging digital technologies and transitioning from a flight operations-based business model to a passenger-centric one.

Presently, global airports have acknowledged the importance of digitalization, although there are many barriers to implementation. Resistance to change is due to the disruption in current operations, cost of implementing digital technologies and the uncertainty over ROI. Additionally, many operators do not have clarity over the solution that best matches their need and are not presented with convincing business case values and metrics that showcase the transformational advantages of adopting digital technology.

Frost & Sullivan undertook a global survey of airports in order to assess the current status of digital transformation programs within airports, challenges to implementation, customer requirements and future development plans. The research findings have been complemented with information from internally held airport databases, participation and discussions at international airport conferences as well as a number of interviews with major industry suppliers.

This research service defines the relevance of digital transformation in the context of the airport, showcases the underlying framework to build an effective business case, describes the technology strategy that should be employed in the course of implementing digital initiatives at the airport and provides an overview of digital goals the airport can aim for as it transforms various processes.

The research is segmented to give the reader clarity in understanding the features that will embody the ‘Airport of the Future’, building blocks that address the utilization of data, the current status of airports in adopting technology and their position in digitalization relative to the ultimate ‘Smart’ Airport. A segment is devoted to understanding airport IT budgets and IT spending forecasts over the next 7 years. The final segment of the research service provides detailed insights into the supplier ecosystem, major digital technology suppliers, and disruptive services and suppliers that are likely to lead to strategic mergers, acquisitions and partnerships in the industry.

Monetization of generated data, expansion of product portfolio by tapping into undersupplied solutions like management of operations during disruptive events, and diversification into adjacent airport segments provide suppliers with good growth opportunities. While investing in new technology and data management solutions, suppliers have to understand the importance of system interoperability, data integration, standardization and collaboration among various airport stakeholders.

Key Issues Addressed
What is Airport Digital Transformation and how does it help my airport?
What kind of strategies h should be employed to facilitate digital transformation?
What are the objectives, advantages and driving factors that promote airport digital transformation?
What are the challenges and barriers to airport digital transformation?
What are the main features that will drive the airport of the future?
What are the technology building blocks that mold a transformed airport?
How does data drive airports towards digital transformation?
How effectively are airports using data? What is the current stage of digital transformation at airports?
What is the current status of airport technology adoption?
What processes at the airport are going digital? What is the impact of digital transformation on these processes?
What are the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that are tracked towards the transformational journey?
What are the objectives, advantages and driving factors that promote airport digital transformation?
How are airport IT budgets positioned with the emergence of digital strategies and initiatives?
How much does the airport industry look to invest in digital technology by 2023? 15. What are the top criteria that impact digital transformation business case?
What are the criteria that impact selection of a supplier in the procurement process?
Who are the major suppliers in the industry for each airport segment? Which companies are providing the disruptive technology?
What are the major mergers and acquisitions seen in the industry?
What are the major growth opportunities for suppliers in the industry?
What are the strategic imperatives suppliers have to adopt for success?


  • Executive Summary
    • Study Methodology
    • Key Findings
  • Overview
    • What is Digital Transformation?
    • Phases of Airport Digital Transformation
    • Frost & Sullivan Airport Digital Transformation Framework
    • Airport Digital Transformation-Goals and Strategy
    • Airport Digital Transformation-Vision Alignment
    • Airport Digital Transformation Operator Vision
    • Airport Digital Transformation Imperatives
    • Major Objectives for Airport Digital Transformation
    • Airport Digital Transformation-Facilitating Factors
    • Airport Digital Transformation-Challenges
    • Airport Digital Transformation Priorities
    • Transformational Advantages for Airports
  • Airport of the Future
    • Features Driving Airport Transformation
    • Airport City
    • Self-service-Passenger Journey
    • Self-service-Travel Ecosystems
    • Self-service-Mobility Integrators
    • Passenger Expectations from Airport
    • Transition to Passenger-centric Business Model
    • Areas that Enhance the Passenger Experience
    • Passenger Centricity-Digital Passenger Journey
    • Total Airport Management (TAM)
    • Foundation of Data Collaboration-A-CDM
    • Transition From A-CDM to TAM
    • Airport Sustainability
    • Sustainability-Airport Targets
    • Sustainability-Eco-efficient Airport
  • Digital Transformation Technology Building Blocks
    • Technology Strategy Building Blocks
    • Digital Platforms-Data Silos
    • Digital Platforms-Open Source, Cloud-enabled
    • Digital Platforms-Blueprint
    • Big Data-Technology Strategy Building Blocks
    • Big Data-Data Analytics Matrix
    • Big Data-Implementation and Case Studies
    • Big Data, Artificial Intelligence and Automation
    • Cloud Computing-Technology Strategy Building Blocks
    • Data Security-Technology Strategy Building Blocks
    • Data Security-Biometrics
    • Data Security-Blockchain
    • Mobility-Technology Strategy Building Blocks
  • Airport Digital Transformation Status Quo
    • Current Status of Airport Digital Transformation
    • Digital Transformation Status by Technology Adoption
    • Flow of Data through Data Silos
    • Importance and Satisfaction of Digital Technologies
    • Deployment of Digital Technology
    • Rate of Technology Adoption
  • Digital Transformation in Airport Processes
    • Digital Transformation of Critical Airport Operational Processes
    • Passenger Operations-Key Findings
    • Passenger Operations-Top KPIs and Datasets Collected
    • Passenger Operations-Future Outlook
    • Airport Operations-Key Findings
    • Airport Operations-Top KPIs and Datasets Collected
    • Airport Operations-Future Outlook
    • Safety and Security-Key Findings
    • Safety and Security-Top KPIs and Datasets Collected
    • Safety and Security-Future Outlook
    • Baggage Operations-Key Findings
    • Baggage Operations-Top KPIs and Datasets Collected
    • Baggage Operations-Future Outlook
    • Infrastructure Management-Key Findings
    • Infrastructure Management-Top KPIs and Datasets Collected
    • Infrastructure Management-Future Outlook
    • Administration and Finance-Key Findings
    • Administration and Finance-Top KPIs
    • Administration and Finance-Future Outlook
  • Digital Spending of Airports
    • Revenue and Passenger Growth Correlation
    • Airport Digital Transformation-IT Budgets
    • Airport Digital Transformation-IT Spending Forecast
  • Supplier Ecosystem and Growth Opportunities
    • Airport Stakeholders
    • Stakeholder Business Case Criteria
    • Selecting Technology and Supplier
    • Supplier Ecosystem
    • Leading Owners for Key Processes
    • Disruptor Ecosystem
    • Mergers and Acquisitions
    • Growth Opportunity-Data Monetization
    • Growth Opportunity-Disruption Management
    • Growth Opportunity-Expansion into Adjacent Segments
    • Strategic Imperatives for Success and Growth
  • The Last Word
    • The Last Word-3 Big Predictions
  • Appendix
    • Key Market Definitions

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