IT spending continues on an upward trajectory, says SITA

11 September 2017
The first SITA Air Transport IT Trends Insights report reflects continued investment in self-service technologies (pictured are self-service passport scanners in Singapore Changi Terminal 4), while longer-term spending is planned on artificial intelligence and chatbots. Source: Getty

The latest IT trends survey from SITA has found that the air transport industry is embracing new technologies to improve and secure operations.

According to the SITA 2017 Air Transport IT Trends Insights report, airports and airlines will spend approximately USD33 billion on IT this year. Airports are expected to spend around 5.05% of their annual revenues on IT this year, and 88% of all airports surveyed expect IT investment to increase or remain at the same level in 2018.

Cybersecurity is at the top of the wishlist for airport IT investment, with 96% of airports planning to invest in major programmes or initiatives over the next three years, and 95% of airlines pledging the same, reflecting an alignment of priorities.

Ilya Gutlin, SITA president of air travel solutions, said cyber attacks are a very real threat in the highly interwoven air transport industry, so it is essential to build solid defences.

Cloud services are another top investment priority, with 85% of airports and 95% of airlines planning to invest over the next three years, continuing an upward trend that SITA has recorded since 2015.

A third key area of investment highlighted by airlines and airports is to provide extra self-service options to passengers. At airports, self-service processes at check-in, bag drop and boarding are increasingly popular with passengers, with 89% of airports investing in these processes.

Airport operators also turning to the Internet of Things, beacons and sensors to support their goals. Analysis from SITA – merging its Airport and Airline IT Trends Surveys into a single report for the first time - shows that 80% are investing, or planning to invest, in these technologies over the next three years, while 74% are investing in wayfinding solutions and 68% are rolling out solutions to improve personalisation for the passenger.

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