88% of airports to invest in mobile apps by 2015

By Charlotte Turner |

The world’s airports are turning to mobile apps, social media and intelligent technologies including geolocation services to make the passenger experience better, according to the SITA Airport IT Trends Survey, published last week.


The air transport information technology (IT) and communications specialist says that the survey results are based on responses from 91 airport operators, representing the views of 173 airports worldwide, managing 2.3 billion passengers per year.


The 9th annual SITA survey, in partnership with Airports Council International (ACI) and Airline Business, reports that improving the passenger experience is the number one driver of IT investment by the majority (59%) of the world’s airports.


“An example of changes passengers will see is a rapid increase in mobile and social media apps delivering a more personalised customer experience,” says SITA.



[Above: SITA’s survey results are based on responses from 91 airport operators, representing the views of 173 airports worldwide]



“Keeping passengers informed about their flight status and wait times is the top reason for airports providing mobile apps, with 88% planning to invest in them by the end of 2015.”


During this period, 78% of airports also plan to invest in social media with two thirds of these currently focused on evaluations or trials.


Within the next three years, new way-finding services are set to become commonplace on mobile devices, allowing passengers to navigate easily through the airport. Just 10% of airports provide them today but this is set to jump to 70% by 2015.


Francesco Violante, CEO, SITA, said: “This year’s Airport IT Trends Survey shows that operators are investing in the ‘intelligent airport’ to improve the passenger experience in an operationally efficient manner. With airports planning to invest in business intelligence, and using it to better collaborate with partners, it is clear that there is a strong desire among operators to work together with stakeholders, including airlines and ground handlers, to create a better passenger journey.”




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