IT still flying high in airports

Global airport IT industry estimated to be worth $3 billion but operators blame reduced budgets for not achieving IT strategies

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IT still flying high in airports Most operators blamed slashed budgets as the main obstacle in achieving their IT strategy. (Getty Images)
By  Vineetha Menon Published  November 5, 2009

The worldwide airport IT industry is estimated to be worth $3 billion according to aviation solutions experts SITA.

Their Airport IT Trends survey, which represented 172 airports around the world, found that the financial crisis had little impact on IT investments in 2008, though how it will affect this year's figures will not be known for some time.

"...IT budgets for airports in 2008 were largely unaffected by the global economic downturn with IT investments as % of revenue decreasing slightly from 3.5% in 2007 to 3.2% in 2008. The world airport IT industry is estimated to be worth $3 billion and 45% of this year's survey respondents expect an increase in budget in 2010 while only 14% expect a lower budget," SITA stated in their report.

A majority of operators blamed a lack of investment and slashed budgets as the main obstacle standing in their way of achieving set IT strategies.

Top priorities for airports in terms of IT investments include passenger processing and services (61%), passenger security (56%) and airport operations (51%).

Another interesting finding is that that most airport operators (80%) are planning to make passenger self-service the primary channel for check-in.

More than half rated the introduction of e-documents as the one technology that will have the most significant impact on airports in the near future, fuelled by the adoption of bar-coded boarding passes sent directly to mobile phones.

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