One of the aviation associations that we support and participate in, Airports Council International (ACI) released its latest industry assessment on February 24, 2022. In it, they examined the economic impact of the pandemic, its effects on airports globally, and what the likely path to full recovery looks like.
Although COVID-19 continues, the study reports that because of 10.5 billion shots of the vaccines administered in more than 180 countries, we've reached a turning point. ACI quotes the World Health Organization's Director-General who said that if we can fully vaccinate 70% of the world's population by June 2022, we could move out of the acute phase of the pandemic before the year's end. This would potentially fuel a rapid recovery in the world's economies and in business and leisure air travel.
This recovery will be moderated by multiple challenges, including new variants, inflation, supply chain disruptions, higher crude oil prices. Of these, higher inflation is seen as the
most pressing downside risk and the one that most governments will target. In addition, the risk of ongoing armed conflict and increasing international tensions may hamper the economic recovery that began in 2021.
Airport IT Investment in 2022 expected to grow
In addition to its quarterly industry assessment, ACI World and SITA have also released their report on Information Technology (IT) Insights for airlines and airports in 2021. Some key findings:
- 81% of airports surveyed plan on increasing their IT spend in 2022
- Projected 2022 spend is projected to grow over 2021's planned spend of $5.1bn
- Airports' focus on the digital transformation of the passenger experience continues in 2022
- 84% of airports plan to implement self-service technology in 2022
Goal: reduce OPEX
Aside from the obvious, why this ongoing focus on bringing technology to bear in airport terminals and other facilities? ACI's second edition of their Airport Digital Transformation Handbook reports that in 2022 airports will look to:
- Reduce OPEX through staffing costs
- Simplify the passenger experience
- Implement self-service solutions, including touchless processes
- Continue to roll out self service identification processes
These projects all work to reduce face-to-face contact with airport staff, increase the hygiene level of the airport, and protect the health and safety of both employees and passengers. In addition, these measures can all help an airport's bottom line by helping to reduce OPEX.
In the current labor climate, it has become challenging to recruit and retain front-line employees. Investments in IT, and especially self service identification and other touchless processes, can lower staffing costs.
These are challenging times but Flagship's customizable approach to the changing needs of occupants and your airport will help you protect your bottom line now and into the future. From cleaning and disinfection to single-source Facilities Management, we have brought innovation to bear for our airports.
Email an airport facilities expert today and get the help you need to keep your airport healthy and safe as we continue to recover from the pandemic.