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/PRNewswire/ -- U.S. airports will increasingly move to a common-use facilities model to make more efficient use of airport resources, better facilitate passenger flow and improve the airport experience for air travelers, and drive opportunities for non-airport related revenue, predicts global IT services provider Unisys (NYSE: UIS).
Sept. 10, 2012"Traditionally in the U.S., individual airlines lease space from the airport authority and run their own systems and processes, often resulting in duplicated and inefficient resources within an airport such as check-in counters and gates," said Olivier Houri, President Global Transportation of Unisys."However, competitive pressures and the rise of low-cost carriers are forcing airport operators to take a more holistic view of their operations and consider moving to a centralized, common-use model for running their facilities. Such a model could allow airport operators to make more efficient use of their resources, process more passengers, offer more aircraft slots with existing infrastructure, and create new revenue streams," Houri said.Houri predicts three trends will emerge as a result of the move to common-use airport facilities:
As airports become the centralized provider of key infrastructure such as gates, check-in counters and self-service kiosks, they will increasingly offer access to these resources as a managed service where airlines only pay for what they use and share costs with other airlines.
As a mature aviation market, U.S. airport operators will be forced to seek new sources of non-aviation revenue to fund improvements and expansion of airport facilities and diversify against the impact of economic downturns and cyclical passenger and cargo volumes. New services and facilities may include a combination of entertainment, shopping, sports, leisure, business, conference, training, transport, fitness, hotels, restaurants, and multifunctional office – transforming the airport from a transportation hub to a city of interrelated activity that can be itself a destination. The U.S. Dallas Fort Worth international airport is an early adopter of this "airport city" approach to creating non-aviation revenue sources.
Airports will move to centralized IT systems to provide a 360 degree, real-time view of the airport's operations and better manage and allocate information from various airport systems including resource management, flight information, and command and control centers. Such centralization will enable the airport operator to optimize utilization of shared airport resources, such as check-in desks, gates, baggage belts and slots to prevent bottlenecks and avoid expensive infrastructure being left unused.
Houri says that U.S. airports can learn from successful "airport city" models overseas such as Schiphol airport in the Netherlands, the fourth busiest airport in Europe1 and primary hub for KLM as well as for Arkefly, Corendon Dutch Airlines, Martinair and Transavia and European hub for Delta Airlines. Schiphol features an extensive shopping center outside Customs accessible by passengers and non-travelers, a museum, and the world's first permanent airport library. In 2012, Schiphol was named Europe's Best Airport and was the only airport outside Asia to be ranked in the world's top five airports 2.Unisys has decades of experience providing mission-critical systems and solutions to the airport and aviation industry. More than 200 airlines and 100 airports around the world use Unisys solutions, including the Beijing Capital International Airport, Billund Airport, Brussels Airport, Delhi International Airport, Los Angeles World Airports, and the Madrid/ Barcelona airports. Unisys systems and servers are currently used to check in almost a third of the world's passengers.Unisys is demonstrating a number of its innovative airport solutions, including its Airport Operation Database (AODB), integration of mobile alerts into the Unisys Airport Operation System and theAOptix InSight iris recognition and face capture systems for identity verification, at the Airports Council International-NA/World Conference from September 9 - 12, 2012 in Calgary. Visit booth 525 at the event.1Ranked by total passengers per year 2011, Airports Council International2 Skytrax World Airport Awards 2012 - http://www.schiphol.nl/SchipholGroup/NewsMedia/PressreleaseItem/AmsterdamAirportSchipholAmsterdamAirportSchipholAwardedEuropesBestAirport.htmAbout UnisysUnisys is a worldwide information technology company. We provide a portfolio of IT services, software, and technology that solves critical problems for clients. We specialize in helping clients secure their operations, increase the efficiency and utilization of their data centers, enhance support to their end users and constituents, and modernize their enterprise applications. To provide these services and solutions, we bring together offerings and capabilities in outsourcing services, systems integration and consulting services, infrastructure services, maintenance services, and high-end server technology. With approximately 22,500 employees, Unisys serves commercial organizations and government agencies throughout the world. For more information, visit www.unisys.com.Follow us on www.twitter.com/UnisysCorp.RELEASE NO.: 0910/9128Unisys is a registered trademark of Unisys Corporation. All other brands and products referenced herein are acknowledged to be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective holders.This is an opinion piece and is intended only to provide a summary of the subject matter covered. It does not purport to be comprehensive or to render advice. No reader should act on the basis of any matter contained in this piece without first obtaining specific professional advice.