Digital Transformation in Europe’s Airports Supported by SESAR Approach

Digital transformation in Airports Supported by SESAR A-ICE Airport Operations

As Europe’s airports strive to cope with rising traffic, sustainability concerns and increasing passenger demands for smoother, more secure, yet time- and cost-efficient passage through the airport processing system, more are turning to the SESAR Joint Undertaking for digital transformation support.

The SESAR Joint Undertaking is the Single European Sky Air Traffic Management Research programme introduced by the European Commission to assist in the development of technologies that can help airports tighten security and safety, increase operational productivity and improve passenger experience. This digital transformation of Europe’s airports will help to shape the future of the airport experience – both in the back office and in the terminal passenger areas.

Why is digital transformation important for the future of airport operations?

The modernisation of the Air Traffic Management system is happening because of real capacity issues and ATM disruptions across Europe. SESAR Joint Undertaking is working closely with airports to address some of these issues by strengthening the support in:

  • Increasing efficiency at the airside
  • Managing runway throughput
  • Integrating surface management
  • Tightening safety and security
  • Improving passenger experience
  • Reducing the carbon footprint
  • And more.

The SESAR initiative for the digital transformation of European airports looks ahead to the future of airport operations up to and beyond 2035. It aims to deliver support to improve the operational and passenger experience through innovation and implementation of the right blend of technologies to offer a seamless, fully transparent, yet rigidly secure operational platform in a robust, globally competitive industry.

Preparing for a new era of aviation operations

Managed by a small army of air traffic controllers, thousands of aircraft travel over, arrive and depart Europe’s airports every day. The Single European Sky (SES) initiative is working towards creating a streamlined approach to this management with an aim to increasing efficiency and minimizing the environmental impact. The relationship between airports and ATC operators is critical and is being improved with the implementation of innovative technology and digital solutions.

Benefits are already being realised by integrated technologies and solutions across Europe with the support of SESAR. With automation, big data analysis, virtualization and integration trends (to name but a few) gathering pace, airports are demonstrating an eagerness to prepare for a new era of aviation operations.

Citing SESAR as a ‘key and vital partner’, the Director General of ACI Europe, Olivier Jankovec, said, “SESAR is both the test-bed and gateway to the widest collection of proven technological solutions for airport operations in Europe. As such, it has come to play an important role in advancing the business of airports and their competitive edge – alongside the delivery of the Single European Sky technological pillar of ATM modernisation.”

How A-ICE can help accelerate your airport’s digital transformation

A-ICE has been working with European airports on the creation and implementation of fully integrated digital solutions to help streamline and enhance airport operations at every level. When systems and solutions communicate and integrate, a clearer view of operations can be gained at the management level.

A fully integrated and communicating airport operational system can increase efficiency with immediate effect, offering an opportunity for operators to streamline:

  • Ground handling processes
  • Baggage handling, reconciliation and tracking
  • Passenger processing and security
  • Traffic flow through the airport terminals
  • Queue management
  • Flight operations
  • And much more.

Integrating a robust, powerful suite of solutions that can operate with current and existing airport technologies also means that investment can be kept to a minimum and utilization of resources more carefully managed. Another key area of airport operational management that can become complex and challenging is regulatory compliance. A-ICE understands the pressure of maintaining compliance and ensures that these boxes are firmly ticked at all levels.

Talk to A-ICE today about how we can help you with solutions to deliver digital transformation for your airport. We work closely with our clients to tailor a unique combination of solutions that can prepare the airport for the future of aviation travel.


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