Trends reshaping aviation
Air traffic to double again
Airport traffic has doubled every 15 years since the 1970s, and is expected to double again within the next 15 years. Globalization is shifting economic power to different geographies, with emerging markets powering aviation growth. Urbanization is bringing upward mobility within societies and fueling air travel, while privatization and deregulation are making air travel cheaper.
Traditional ways to meet air traffic expansion are not always possible as airports are built in, in cities. The threat of climate change and scarce resources are forcing airports to rethink how they can be more sustainable while still enhancing efficiency.
Advances in technology and digital transformation are bringing possibilities to airports, yet also creating new demands from customers and added cost pressures. Despite operational complexity and cost transparency continuously increasing, airports always put safety first.
Capacity shortages of up to 50%
While forecasts predict a bright future, airports and airlines today face a mixed bag of opportunities and challenges. IATA says air traffic will double and grow at 3.8% annually to reach seven billion passengers per year by 2034. An ACI Europe paper on airport capacity reports that if no action is taken, airports in Europe will not be able to meet 12% of passenger demand by 2035, meaning more than 237 million passengers will not be able to fly. Despite current planned construction efforts, all regions are expected to experience capacity shortages of up to 50% by 2024.
Data analytics is coming to airports
According to a study by Frost & Sullivan on digital transformation at airports, about 50% of airports say they plan to invest in advanced analytics in the next five years. Advanced analytics is a proven capability across many industries, and more and more airports are seeing its potential to transform airport operations.
Using advanced analytics on operational data gathered from airside and landside systems such as the Airport Operational Database, gate, tower and airfield, can take airports beyond collaborative decision making, enable greater situational awareness and predictability in real time, and support Total Airport Management.
This could potentially save 20 million euros per year, or 6% of operational costs at an airport with 280,000 movements per year, which is the average for the world’s top 100 airports. The gains are achievable by avoiding delays and flight cancellations, as well as improving operational efficiency.