Be it interactions between passenger, airlines and airport; baggage handler and airline, or freight forwarder, airline and ground handler – better use of data and communication is the key to optimizing airport operations. Coordinating data sources, using distributed ledger technologies or cloud applications should also allow customers to access real-time tracking of flights, baggage and shipments, providing control and peace of mind. With various initiatives underway, there is a need to demonstrate likely industry level solutions and determine standardization needs.
The use of predictive modeling and artificial intelligence will enable swifter real-time decisions using a wider array of data than could be performed by any human. Awareness of the changes to a passenger’s journey or the status of cargo or baggage will enable the airport to best address the needs of all and airlines to optimize the decision-making across their whole network.
Making better decisions requires access to the relevant information in a timely manner and from a trusted source. Using an API (Application Programming Interface), those with the right credentials can gain access to data obtained by another trusted entity. Given the disparate sources of data required by multiple audiences (such as customers, suppliers and employees), consistent definitions need to be used. The Airline Industry Data Model (AIDM) serves as the dictionary for industry-agreed vocabulary, defining the data and its relationships. Furthermore a consistent design of an Open API platform reduces the rework for those consuming data from multiple airlines or other sources. It is solely the interface that requires consistent design. Every passenger, cargo customer, regulatory authority, airport, airline will be able to use their own system. These systems will pull in reliable data from other sources and then can provided updated information relevant to their situation to others.
Smart tags, sensors, connected device technology will be deployed to enhance the data acquired and improve the clarity of our situational awareness.
The simplest form will provide a way to keep track of the location of baggage, cargo or equipment. Additional information regarding the environmental conditions will enable use of early warning systems which can trigger mitigating actions. This will better protect the integrity of the shipment or asset.
Actions and Change Management
The real benefit of situational awareness comes from the decisions that can be made as a result. The rationale for deploying more sophisticated real-time decision making tools is three-fold: enabling great choice and flexibility for customers, driving optimum process efficiency and triggering compliance, security or other checks on the basis of need rather than a default for all.