Future of Connected Airports and the Teams Who Create Them

 

Aviation is known for rapid development: it took just 66 years to go from the Wright Brothers’ first flight to humans walking on the moon.  Airports have changed just as quickly, going from dusty airfields to mini-cities with populations that change by the hour.  In the next 10 years, aviation innovation will take place at a breathtaking pace. We’ll be leveraging tech in ways that we can’t even imagine today. Cybersecurity is critical. Software systems are crucial infrastructure now. “Knowledge is Power” – so we have established very special analyzing tools that enable airports to come to new levels of operations and efficiency.

Impact of Consumer Technology

This is an incredibly exciting time to be in aviation and we have the travelers to thank for it. Not only the sheer numbers of passengers who keep airlines and airports busy, but the way they’re pushing airports, airlines and the companies that support them to think bigger, smarter, faster and safer.  The influence of IoT and the impact of consumer technology on aviation are pushing us to rethink what we offer, when and why.

Think of the data that airports generate: it goes beyond planes, passengers, baggage and security lines. If we really connect everything, we can use that information to solve problems – both known and unknown to actively improve everyone’s air travel experience. That’s exciting! We could make real connections with passengers to take the stress out of travel and help our customer to be ahead of the competition. A customer once told me “Imagine a parent traveling with three young kids. Wouldn’t it be great if they didn’t have to ask for help, it just showed up: an agent waiting at the gate to help them juggle their kids and bags, get them on their way to the next leg of their journey.” I have to say, that is a great way of seeing it. That’s just one way we can make an easier door-to-door experience for all our travelers.

Re-thinking Our Teams

As airports rapidly adopt new technology and connectivity, there are new frontiers to explore in hiring the teams creating the airports of the future. Honeywell is a leader in airport technology, especially in the Middle East. We bring innovative spirit and that has helped us create truly open, connected solutions.  That passion to create, to innovate, that’s what we need more of to keep growing. Not just meeting current airport needs, but creating solutions for unrealized needs.

That means not just shaking up the process of innovation, but rethinking everything about the teams that work on solutions and that’s not easy. There’s a battle for talent right now, especially in aviation. The future of aviation will be driven by talent that brings an unrivaled passion for the industry and a desire to innovate. The industry needs creative and passionate engineers along with people who have valued experience. It needs people new to the industry. 

Being an Ambassador for Women in Aviation I also would like us to think on the strategy of how to enable more women to enter and be successful in the Aviation industry. They are not only 50% of the world’s population, they can also be considered not just as consumers but as part of a creative and innovative team. This could be where the battle for talent is won.

Sonja Strand will be a featured speaker at the Women in Aviation forum on May 1 at the Airport Show, Dubai.