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In search of that elusive 'single version of the truth'

Published on  12 October by Nick Gates , Portfolio Director, Air Travel Solutions at SITA
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There’s a big demand to turn data into intelligence that's capable of furnishing a single version of the truth, in real-time or as near as we can make it.

The recently released Air Transport IT Trends Insights Survey from SITA shows a lot of spend this year on IT by airlines and airports. Around US$ 33bn in fact.

The effective handling of data will count for a lot of that. As air transport becomes ever more data-driven, there’s a big demand to turn data into intelligence that's capable of furnishing a single version of the truth, in real-time or as near as we can make it.

Cooperation between the industry's players is the pathway to creating intelligence that will give us the truth we’re looking for; though there’s some way to go before we see our air traffic controllers, airlines, airports and ground handlers able to work together with the utmost seamlessness and harmony.

Reasons to be optimistic

It’s incumbent on the industry to tackle this challenge, and it is doing exactly that, giving us every reason to be optimistic. As SITA’s latest survey shows, business intelligence, cloud, passenger mobile services and social media all feature at the top of the investment priorities of airports and airlines, with figures of around 90% (percentage of those planning investments in these areas in the next three years).

Not only that, the priorities of the vast majority of airlines see disruption – and its often debilitating impact – being addressed, with further planned investments in self-service solutions for irregular operations, disruption warning and prediction systems, real-time information and notifications via passengers’ mobiles, and mass notification via social media.

For the future of air transport, this is great news. For SITA’s part, It remains our role to provide the necessary data to drive collaboration and furnish critical intelligence at airports. We’re working closely with the world’s airports, airlines and ground handlers – as well as governments – to improve the passenger experience and operational processes. Our work on predictive analytics and disruption management will play a key part in enhancing collaborative decision-making.

But  one of the relatively recent big leaps forward in attaining a single version of the truth is the advent of control centers at airports, such as the one introduced by SITA to achieve ‘Punctuality at Düsseldorf Airport’, as featured in our paper Airport Integrated Control Centers.

Designed to dissolve the silos in air transport, there’s no doubt we’ll see more of these centers giving us unprecedented control over the journey and our operations, as we get ever closer to that elusive single version of the truth.

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