According to an insight paper launched by
Amadeus, airports are increasingly identifying the need to switch
to next generation cloud systems in order to improve operational
efficiencies in a challenging marketplace.
Rising business pressures from
stakeholders and competitors mean airports must make the most
efficient use of IT resources to operate effectively and work more
collaboratively with airlines, whilst looking for alternative
revenue streams to remain competitive.
The paper indicates that modernising approaches
to Common Use systems is one route to alleviate these challenges
in a world that has access to the latest models of cloud
The paper goes on to highlight that the industry
is now ready to adopt next generation Common Use solutions to
maximise the operational and commercial performance of the sector.
However, some airports still have doubts stemming from concerns
about resilience, privacy, security, and risk although the report
suggests attitudes to these issues are gradually changing.
Michael Ibbitson, CIO, London Gatwick Airport,
and report contributor said, “Today’s setup is reliant on
out-dated technology and is not really embracing the revolutionary
capability of the internet. Each airline using our CUPPS system
needs to build integration locally, on-site. The aviation industry
has tried to address the problem with the development of CUTE
and CUPPS standards but, in doing so, seems to have reinforced the
existing structure rather than instigate change. It is time to
embrace technology as quickly as possible, and develop a
fundamental shift in aviation IT.”
John Jarrell, Head of Airport IT, Amadeus said,
“Airports around the globe need to look for new ways to compete
and maximise the value of their resources amidst growing economic
pressure. Next generation Common Use platforms based on the cloud
have the ability to revolutionise the way IT is provided at
airports. Dedicated cloud providers can lower costs for airports
thanks to economies of scale, amongst many other benefits that
allow airports the flexibility to service their customers better.”
“A cloud platform can provide an
airport sufficient energy savings to allow a VW Golf to circle the
earth 27 times annually, if, for example 75% of a
300-workstation airport switched to thin clients. This really is a
significant upgrade from traditional CUTE or CUPPS systems – the
question now is whether airports are ready to take a leap of faith and jump to the cloud. Our objective is to open the debate
with the airport community,” he added.
Some of the insight paper’s key findings
Common Use technology has evolved little since
CUTE was created in 1984, which is still more popular than the
much newer CUPPS, formed in 2009. Interviewed airports find these
platforms to be outdated, inflexible, complex, slow, bulky, and
cost-ineffective, which affects the whole airport eco-system.
Clearly, there is room for improvement.
Cloud-enabling technology has developed rapidly
in recent years. Since CUPPS was first implemented in 2009, new
technologies such as application virtualisation, vastly
improved networks and new mobile devices have made viable to make
the switch to the cloud.
Cloud technology has the potential to
revolutionise airport systems. Benefits include reduced hardware
and maintenance costs, saved physical space as a result of
removing servers, streamlined certification and location
flexibility to process passenger check-in and boarding, helping
airports and airlines improve passenger service as a result.
Many airports still have doubts and hesitations
concerning the cloud. The majority of these, such as resilience,
privacy, security, and risk have been overcome as cloud providers
have made addressing these issues a top priority.
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