Day one of the 2016 IT Summit is over and it’s been all systems go right from the start. I was thrilled to see not an empty seat in the house as the first session got underway. This is my 17th IT Summit and wow, what a turn out this year. We have over 500 delegates who’ve flown in to Barcelona from all around the world. I’ve met up with lots of friends and colleagues from our industry, members from various alliances and associations, and experts from outside the air transport industry.
The best thing is how many discussions I’ve heard where people are sharing their experiences and figuring out how they can help each other. It’s so good to see collaboration in action. It’s especially fitting as the power of collaboration and the need to encourage it was such a prominent feature of all four of the day’s technology sessions.
We heard how important it is for actors to come together in the worlds of connectivity, identity management, and cyber-security, if we want to make the most of the opportunities and challenges we face as an industry. We certainly came away a little wiser about what it will take to be smarter at every step.
I’ve summarized each session below. If something grabs your attention and you want to know more, today’s content can be found on the microsite. And don’t miss out on the speaker videos on our YouTube channel.
The day kicked off with Low-cost connectivity for all and everything with a panel of experts from TNOOZ, Orange Business Services, SIGFOX and SITA. Coming out of the session, it was clear that airlines need simple, global and economically-viable connectivity for end-to-end connectivity to thrive. With demand increasing exponentially, that is no easy task. Stakeholders must come together more than ever before. Standardization will play a big role.
Next up, we had Getting smart about identity management in air transport. On stage, SITA and SITA Lab panelists were joined by AUGMENTIQ, IATA and ShoCard to discuss single token travel, blockchain technology and the potential it has to ease pain points at airports. Security, privacy, and ease of use are all paramount and it was fascinating to hear how close we are to managing every stage of the journey with a single biometric token.
Moving from the airport to aircraft, we had specialists from Rolls-Royce, Boeing, APEX and SITAONAIR for Enabling the connected aircraft. I was particularly struck by Boeing’s definition of the digital airline and how it delivers “step changes in efficiency, profitability, and customer experience to drive long-term competitive advantage”. The breadth of potential was made clear by some intricate insights about datasets from engine manufacturer, Rolls-Royce, and SITAONAIR showed us how they are digitally transforming aircraft through a complete range of connected solutions.
Our final session of the day was Cybersecurity – tackling the threat. The panel – consisting of speakers from Lufthansa, Los Angeles International Airport, Orange Cyberdefense, and the Aviation Information Sharing and Analysis Center – stressed the need for a holistic approach to cybersecurity, as no single entity can solve the issue on its own. The airport community needs a common-sense approach to cybersecurity which can be implemented globally. Airlines and airports should be looking to leverage partners’ knowledge in cybersecurity to build resiliency across the global community.