Global airport expenditure on information and communication technology (ICT), as a percentage of revenues, fell back slightly in 2015 to 5.21% from its peak of 5.82% in 2014. Despite Airports Council International (ACI) estimates indicating airport industry revenues grew to US$150m in 2015, it was not enough to fully offset the percentage drop. So, in absolute US dollar terms, global IT spend dipped in 2015.
Barbara Dalibard, CEO, SITA and Angela Gittens, Director General, ACI, comment on SITA/ ACI Airport IT Trends Survey 2016:
"Baggage self-service check-in is catching up with passenger check-in and today more than half of airports worldwide can offer both, according to this year’s Airport IT Trends survey, co-sponsored by SITA and Airports Council International (ACI), in association with Airline Business.
It marks an important tipping point for the industry, given that around 82% of people check-in luggage when they fly and means that the convenience and speed of self-service checkin is increasingly a reality for every passenger, not just those with hand luggage.
It all adds to a strong investment picture at airports with total IT spending by airports this year heading over the US$9 billion mark for the first time.
Mobile investments also continue to attract a good portion of this money and there are strong indications that airports are actively looking to recoup this investment by evolving their apps beyond check-in and basic flight information towards revenue generating services.
However, offering unlimited free public Wi-Fi at the airport, which could encourage mobile app usage, is becoming less popular among airport operators. Many, particularly in North America and the Middle East, are moving to a time-limited free access model.
Today, 74% of airports provide unlimited free Wi-Fi to passengers, but this will drop to 54% within three years. A troubling development in recent times has been the growing level of security attacks on airports in both the physical and virtual world. Not surprisingly, it has gone up the agenda of airport CIOs.
This year far more airports rated passenger and airport security a high priority compared to previous surveys, with the trend particularly noticeable at European airports.
Progress has also been made by airports to tackle cyber attacks in recent years. There is still a long way to go, but ACI is supporting these efforts with the launch of an IT Security Benchmarking tool.
This will become increasingly important as the Internet of Things starts to drive a surge in the number of endpoints connected to airport IT networks.
Once again the good level of responses from Chinese airports has allowed us to shine a spotlight on this fast developing travel market by including a dedicated section on China."
The 13th annual Airport IT Trends Survey continues to be the most extensive study of IT trends within the global airport industry. The study allows airports to benchmark themselves against current industry trends. It also encourages discussion about the technology issues facing airports and how IT contributes to airport strategies.
The study took place in the second quarter of 2016 and focused on senior IT executives at the world’s airports. This year survey results came from 110 respondents who collectively represent the view of more than 225 airports.
The airports participating in this year’s research represent 36% of the global traffic (source: ACI passenger traffic data) or 2.3 billion passengers, while 50% of survey respondents came from airports within the Top 100 in terms of revenue.
Tatiana is the news coordinator for TravelDailyNews Media Network (traveldailynews.gr, traveldailynews.com and traveldailynews.asia). Her role includes monitoring the hundreds of news sources of TravelDailyNews Media Network and skimming the most important according to our strategy.
She holds a Bachelor's degree in Communication & Mass Media from Panteion University of Political & Social Studies of Athens and she has been editor and editor-in-chief in various economic magazines and newspapers.