• Subject Name : Management

The Important Role of Big Data in Airport Transformation

Table of Contents

About the company.

Information Systems Used by Sydney Airport.

The Dashboard Setup for the Company’s Key Financial Data.

Role of Data Management Techniques in Airports.



About Sydney Airport Business Report

Australia has been a leading country in the tourism sector with hundreds of people flying down to the country island which is well known for its lavish beaches and authentic food. Located at a distance of 8kms from Sydney, the international airport of Sydney, also known as the Kingsford Smith is situated in the suburbs of Mascot in the state of New South Wales. Ranked the 38th busiest airport on Earth, Sydney Airport witnesses more than 42 million passengers annually and also hence, is one of the longest operated airports to be run continuously. As the statistics suggests, Australia has witnessed a drastic rise in the number of overseas travellers between the years 2011 and 2017. As per Walker (2018), The number grew from 5.3 million international travellers to 8.1 million. Besides this almost 50% of the international travellers make it to Sydney when arriving in the country followed by Melbourne which receives a share of 34% and lastly the remaining 16% choose to land in Brisbane. Sydney airport has been one of the oldest airports in the world. With close to 43 million travellers stepping in to the country annually, Sydney airport contributes a large amount to the Australian economy. An amount as large as $38 Billion is added to the Australian economy each year (Culbert 2019). With being listed as a public stapled entity, the Sydney airport consists of Sydney Airport Limited and the Sydney Airport Trust. Sydney Airport is a foundation of Australia's commercial aviation industry. In 2017, it facilitated more than 43.3 million traveller developments, around a fourth of the country's aggregate, and facilitated 338,500 airplane developments and sent out 188,400 tons of universal airfreight. In total, in 2017, the exercises of the Sydney Airport area produced or encouraged a sum of $38.0 billion in esteem included and 338,500 FTE employments. The exercises of organizations working on the Sydney Airport region contributed an expected $10.7 billion in esteem included, with related work of 57,400 full time proportionate (FTE) occupations, this speaks to 6.5% and 8.5% development, individually, since 2014. The commitment of the travel industry and cargo encouraged by the airport is comparable to a further $27.3 billion in esteem included and produced an expected 281,200 FTE employments, this speaks to 32.5% and 10.8% development, individually, since 2014.

Information Systems Used by Sydney Airport

Sydney Airport is undoubtedly one of the busiest airports over the many airports over different countries. Airports have undertaken vast strategies to innovate the technology they use to provide a better quality of user experience. With this aim to be the best in their sector, many airports have innovated their procedures to enhance public engagement and perform each task efficiently. Innovation and the introduction of new technologies have played a key role in upgrading the efficiency and promote employee enhancement over a variety of sectors. An example of this has been Aena, which is a Spanish owned company managing many airports around the world including one in London and a total of 46 airports in Spain. Over the years, Aena has adopted a number of strategies to offer a better customer experience. Some of the strategies which has been taken up the company include the plan to implement airport 4.0 which aims at digitizing the entire process followed by customers at the airport, usage of drones for surveillance purposes and setting up of remote - control towers to enhance the air traffic management system (Loeches 2020).

With the aim to be top class in their sector, Sydney airport has also strategized their plans to promote a better travel experience and to apply leading technology innovation to their existing processes. One such plan to innovate processes was setting up an end to end biometric system across the airport. The steps to be followed before boarding a plane can be a tedious job as it includes many steps. From baggage drop to migrations, people have to follow queues and various checks and present their passport and documents at each step. The biometric system has helped automate this process by using face detection and finger print scanning. This not only enhances user experience but also provides and effective and efficient security tool. The biometric system was established in the mid 2018 and has facilitated in automating the baggage drop, check in and security procedures. Airport security screening processes are basis to guarantee the security of travellers and the flight business. The level of airport security has been constantly improving with the assistance of cutting-edge innovation and prepared security officials. Be that as it may, airports have seen a critical increment in the quantity of travellers, which makes ideal security screening forms exorbitant to actualize for airport operations, and tedious for travellers and aircrafts. The boarding process uses facial recognition to allow people to board flights without having to show their passport and other necessary documents. This procedure not only enhances user experience and security but also plays an important role in infrastructure management of the airport. The airport had also worked on ways to display the queueing information in real time on the user’s phone. Usually the data for ongoing security checks and boarding flights are displayed on screens placed across the airport. But in this case, the airport plans to display this data on screens as well as phones through a dedicated app so as to reduce public anxiety (n.a. 2017).

The airport witnesses almost 100,000 passengers per day and about 300,000 plane movements each year. The collection of data plays an important role in both management and technical calculations. It also acts as an important factor for stakeholders, if this data were to be processed using excel analytics, it would take a lot of time to crunch such data in to an understandable form. The airport with the help of data experts had adopted the plan to model the airline and passenger data. This helped in solving the problem of unseeing 95% of the data which was unable to understand using the methods employed by the airport earlier (Braue 2013). Data analytics has helped solve some of the major issues such as predicting the number of passengers the airport witnesses every year. Such data would help cater the needs of the people more efficiently and effectively. Artificial intelligence has also contributed a huge share in digitizing the Sydney Airport. As suggested by the head of the Western Sydney Airport Co. Mr. Paul O’Sullivan, the usage of advanced technologies such as AI would help in providing a curfew free environment to the passengers as well as the staff of the airport (O’Sullivan 2018). In 2018, the airport collaborated with Vision – Box to try out the new passenger management system that used facial recognition. Qantas Airlines were the first airline company to collaborate with the airport to try out this system. The system allowed users to click a photo of themselves and their passports. This information was then used to enrol the user data in a biometric system. The concept was to setup a number of touch points starting with the self – check in procedure using a dedicated app or a kiosk. Then the user to move forward to the automated baggage drop zone. At this stage, the user wouldn’t have to present their passport or the boarding pass. Cameras setup across the airport would be used to track the movement of the passengers through the various steps involved at the airport (n.a. 2018).

The Dashboard Setup for the Company’s Key Financial Data

The dashboard created in Microsoft excel is used to represent some of the financial data of the company in the form of bar charts. The data presented in the dashboard include some of main financial data of the company including operating cashflow, current asset and the shareholder’s equity. As per Rampolla (2019), operating cashflow can be defined as the amount of cash generated in the company from the core business of the company. In the case of an airport, the core business in generated by the fees acquired as landing fees paid by the airline companies. Apart from this, the dashboard also represents the current assets of the company which can described as the assets held by the company which can be converted into cash in a given year. Shareholder’s equity can be described as the equity which is owned by the owner of the business after all debts have been cleared.

Role of Data Management Techniques in Airports

Artificial Intelligence has gained pace over the course of a few years due to its reliability and the limitless approach it has to almost every task or work carried out around us. From the IT industry to the management tasks, AI has been an innovative approach in bringing the best to the table to perform tasks more efficiently and effectively. But AI wasn’t a well-known terminology in the late 20th century. The main motive of setting up an AI system it to help a machine think with a similar approach as humans do. At airports it can be a tedious job for the security personnel to check every individual before boarding or for a check in assistant to help hundreds and thousands of people with their check in procedures. Hence, AI can help automate these processes and not only help their employees in performing their tasks effectively but also make this process easier and more user friendly for the people. Even considering the managerial tasks carried out at airports, AI can be used in modelling different types of data to serve the people in a better way. One approach can be to predict the changes in number of people using the airport during different times of the year. Airports usually witness a spike in number of passengers either during holidays or summer and winter breaks. A collection of data which represents the number of people using the airport on regular days and during these special occasions can modelled to predict the number the number of people that would enter the airport during different times of the year so that depending on this data the management can alter the number of flights required. Thus, minimizing the loss due to vacant seats in flights. Considering the case of security management at the airport, machine learning algorithms can be used to identify any changes in scanned images of luggage and electronic appliances such as laptops. It can also be used alongside X-ray scanners to screen people. X-ray scanners can let the computer know of the presence of any metallic object which a person may be carrying. Also, X-ray images can be directly fed into the computer so as to find out any threat causing item without people having to stand in queues and get themselves scanned (n.a. 2019). Another technology which has taken different sectors by storm is the big data technology. Another task which is important in the airport’s business point of view is the customer’s shopping experience. Usually during lay-offs and delayed flight times, people prefer purchasing different products from the shops located inside the airport.

If a person makes a purchase and is a frequent flyer, this data can be used to offer better customer experiences in the form of special offers and discounts to these people and thus, lead to better customer loyalty (Kohli 2018).

Conclusion on Sydney Airport Business Report

Sydney Airport has been one of the busiest airports around the world. The aim for any airport is to offer the best experience to its customers by innovating their processes and promoting a better environment in terms of security. Sydney has outshone many other by adopting some of the leading technologies available to provide the best service. As per Culbert (2019), a technological approach for the betterment of the airport and the passengers has been a key point in benefitting the travellers who with the innovations being carried out at a rapid speed have become more tech-savvy. As per Wiggins (2019), with the enormous competition from the Melbourne and Brisbane airports, Sydney has been spending a daily amount of $1 million to provide a better experience to its customers. This report discussed the contribution of the airport to the Australian economy. The report also discussed some of the cutting-edge technologies being used by the airport to facilitate a better user experience and an efficient workforce. The airport has been one of the first airports to make use of facial recognition to innovate the processes to be carried out before a person can board a plane. Facial recognition and biometric sensors have helped automate the baggage drop and security check in procedures. The use of a dedicated app to display important information has also been used by the airport to display the boarding sequences and other related information in the display screens as well as through mobile phone apps. The usage of big data analytics by the company has helped crunch huge databases to facilitate management and technical decisions. Before this only 5% of the data was being able to be processed but with the use of big data analytics, the remaining data can also be studied and over the years helped in taking some of the most important decisions which were depended on the number of passengers visiting the airport monthly and annually. The use of AI and ML has further facilitated the boarding sequence. It helped people board a plane effortlessly by allowing them to upload a photo of themselves and their passports. Thus, eliminating the time spent in standing in queues.

References for Sydney Airport Business Report

Walker, P. 2018. Why the world loves Australia: what's behind the 50% jump in visitor numbers? [Online]. Available at: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/news/australia-tourism-boom/

Culbert, G. 2019. Sydney Airport plans on greeting the future face-first. [Online]. Available at: https://www.internationalairportreview.com/article/79441/sydney-airport-face-first/

Romain, A. L. 2018. Economic contribution of Sydney Airport. [Online]. Available at: https://www2.deloitte.com/au/en/pages/economics/articles/economic-contribution-sydney-airport.html

Loeches, P. L. 2020. New technologies and innovation are essential for both Aena’s present and future development. [Online]. Available at: https://www.internationalairportreview.com/article/114628/innovation-aena-airport-development-technologies/

n.a. 2017. From open data to biometric processing ­– Sydney Airport’s new technology strategy starting to pay off. [Online]. Available at: https://www.futuretravelexperience.com/2017/10/sydney-airports-new-technology-strategy-starting-to-pay-off/

Braue, D. 2013. Analytics helping ‘smart’ Sydney Airport get off the ground. [Online]. Available at: https://www.zdnet.com/article/analytics-helping-smart-sydney-airport-get-off-the-ground/

O’Sullivan, M. 2018. 'A wake-up call': Artificial intelligence boost for Sydney's new airport. [Online]. Available at: https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/a-wake-up-call-artificial-intelligence-boost-for-sydney-s-new-airport-20180528-p4zhxs.html

n.a. 2018. Sydney Airport to trial new passenger management system. [Online]. Available at: https://www.airport-technology.com/news/sydney-airport-trial-new-passenger-management-system/

n.a. 2019. How can AI help speed up airport security? [Online]. Available at: https://www.airport-technology.com/features/ai-at-airports-security/

Kohli, D. 2018. The Important Role of Big Data in Airport Transformation. [Online]. Available at: https://www.aviationpros.com/airports/article/12434059/the-important-role-of-big-data-in-airport-transformation

Wiggins, J. 2019. Sydney Airport rebrands for the Instagram generation. [Online]. Available at: https://www.afr.com/companies/infrastructure/we-re-selling-sydney-airport-rebrands-20190926-p52v3t

Rampolla, J. 2019. How to Calculate Operating Cash Flow. [Online]. Available at: https://scalefactor.com/scaleblog/operating-cash-flow/

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