By Philipose Jacob, general manager, Global Airports Business at Honeywell
The aviation sector is in the midst of a recovery that involves enhancing commercial operations and supporting sustainability. Both elements are important for the future resilience of connected airports. The International Air Travel Association (IATA) forecasts overall global traveler numbers to reach 4 billion in 2024, exceeding pre-COVID-19 levels. Although the outlook demand for air travel is optimistic, airport operators need to be prepared to withstand any possible future disruptions, highlighting the increasing importance of advanced technologies.
One clear and increasingly necessary approach is improving operations and business continuity. Advanced technologies can help address current and future business needs. Incorporating technologies that use an open Internet of Things (IoT) infrastructure and help enable process improvements can provide benefits such as increase cost efficiencies, improve uptime and help meet sustainability goals. This can be achieved by streamlining the usage of existing airport assets such as gates and runways, improving the real-time readiness of the terminal for flows of passengers, baggage and aircraft, and by using intelligent energy management throughout the airport.
To support current operational optimization and efficiencies as well as future needs, Honeywell recently launched the next generation of its Honeywell NAVITAS software suite platform. This solution helps airport operators and air navigation service providers make more informed and accurate decisions across airside operations – from approach to gate. It also enables the automation and digitalization of air traffic services to help achieve efficient ground movement, improve situational awareness, control and monitoring of airside and Air Traffic Management (ATM) equipment, information management and integration.
To support sustainability efforts, airports will need to minimize idle time of aircraft, delayed departures or congestion and create shorter turn-arounds. They also need to reduce waiting times through better alignment of airport stakeholders and the use of integrated systems.
With this in mind, Honeywell NAVITAS is designed to meet the challenging requirements of modern aviation with the latest technologies like artificial intelligence, machine learning, big data and cybersecurity. AI-driven analytics systems, sensors and IoT solutions provide better management of ground traffic and airport facilities and help reduce fuel consumption between the gates and runways so that connected airports have more efficient and cost-effective operations.
Building Savings for Airports
IATA and its member airlines have committed to net-zero carbon emissions from their operations by 2050 to tackle climate change. Inevitably, this means that airlines and airports will need solutions that can provide savings – both financial and environmental.