Cybersecurity in the aeronautics industry

With heavy investment in development and automation, the aeronautics industry is preparing for its biggest moment. But, reaching optimal levels of digitization involves a great deal of preparation to protect and support data security. A factor that has been transcendental over the years and that today is not ignored. 

The aviation sector is going through one of its best moments, having reached pre-pandemic levels. However, with exponential growth, data vulnerability is becoming more palpable in an ecosystem where cyber-attacks are in constant view. 

This represents a challenge for aviation worldwide, the protection of passenger data and the support of the aviation structure are essential to avoid risks and threats that could put airports in trouble. 

Building a strong cyber foundation…

With the arrival of digital transformation, laying the foundations of a cybernetic structure is essential, thanks to the large amount of data handled daily at an airport. Not only financial data but also data on each of the passengers that pass through an airport every year. 

In this sense, to move the aviation industry forward with the arrival of digitalization, the cyberculture must be adapted to build sustainable systems that are prepared to cope with the impact of the transformations that are experienced from time to time in technology. 

It is not only a matter of strengthening robust foundations at a systematic level but also of creating a culture where workers are trained to avoid and minimize human error in the event of a system crash. 

Cybersecurity as a sustainable investment… 

To talk about security is not only to talk about a protection system but also to ensure the future of a sector that has been able to overcome each of the challenges it has faced throughout history. 

This is why, at a structural level, it is a safe investment, given the increase in cyber threats. In addition, it will guarantee a robust and credible system over the years. Capable of adapting to changes and guaranteeing security. 

This is a big step for the aviation sector that is growing almost daily, despite the challenges it has faced, it is still a leader in security and reliability in the transportation sector. 

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The digital transformation reaches new frontiers

Digital transformation is increasingly reaching new frontiers. Some sectors have taken it from the beginning, while others have only waited a little longer to study the behavior of a world that, as difficult as it may seem, has come to solve many problems. 

The Internet is not new, and neither is machine learning or big data, but recognizing its effectiveness and behavior has taken us a few years. However, many industries use technological developments to leverage the new, transform themselves and break paradigms that years ago they would not have taken into account. 

The aviation sector has been one of those that have been able to take advantage of the new technologies coming to the market to optimize, reduce costs and improve data security.

This has not only served to clarify and improve the industry after the pandemic but also to face new challenges that in the medium term will be favorable. Not only at the industrial level, but also at the administrative level.

Technology is already part of everyday life… 

Most companies today are technological and it is not only about applying technology within the company but also about transforming the business model to sustain, optimize and ensure the effectiveness of the changes that are made within the industry. 

Always hand in hand with clear and specific objectives to implement an action plan aligned to the industry. 

Likewise, it has been demonstrated that automated processes reduce human error and are more optimal when it comes to minimizing manual work times. For this reason, the leap to technology is imminent and now covers a large part of sectors that had remained solely in manual work.

A new agenda for the maritime sector

The maritime sector is not left aside in terms of optimizing its operations, because the environment that develops within the maritime world is already talking about a new moment to optimize the industry, not only at the level of infrastructure but also at the level of operability. 

Worldwide, maritime transportation has been of vital importance to connect new routes, of great affluence that have awakened in the globalization that is currently being experienced. So, although it seemed to have been left aside, it faces a new challenge to continue growing and evolving more and more. 

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Resilient ports

Nowadays, airport planning must be viewed as an ecosystem in permanent transformation, which does not work in isolation but is an integral part of its immediate environment. As well as other sectors that directly influence its daily development such as tourism, foreign trade, defense, territorial integration, and social connectivity, but above all, its planning must be aligned with the objectives and policies of the State.

 

Evaluating the above, the planning of the air system should be focused not only on aircraft, infrastructure, and services but also on sustainability (social, environmental, and economic) and should not lose its articulation with the urban planning where they are located.

 

The current situation must be taken into account in airport planning, while analyzing the past and how things were done to foresee the future and improve processes, building different scenarios, considering all possible variables, and dimensioning their influence.

 

The truth is that we are in constant evolution, and situations change overnight, but today, keeping airport development at the forefront of technology is vital to lay the foundations. This allows a sector in constant development to grow and meet the demand of travelers for more efficient services and transform their travel experience.

 

Airport development management has a responsibility to take advantage of the buildings, facilities, and infrastructure available to them and evaluate their full capacity to adapt and create resilient infrastructures that promote the sustainability of the industry, but above all foster innovation.

 

Using technological platforms makes it possible to optimize resources without the need for large investments in infrastructure. Additionally, they facilitate the daily work of airport employees, while benefiting travelers who obtain high-quality services with state-of-the-art technology that offers them: greater data security, more efficient waiting times, and, obviously, greater convenience when using systems such as self-check-in. Also, biometric systems for passenger control or zero-contact technologies have become so popular in recent times.

 

Undoubtedly, the airport sector has had a rapid capacity to adapt and has weathered one of the worst crises in history, but if anything is clear, it is that airport planning must be very resilient and mutate step by step, to adapt to the needs.  Above all, they must be open to learning, take advantage of every innovative technology that facilitates data collection and analysis, and be very dynamic in decision-making, which will allow them to cushion the impact of any situation that may arise.

 

Reduced traffic at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol

In previous articles, we talked about the challenges facing airports worldwide that affect them both positively and negatively. However, this has led to immense solutions that have served as a bridge to improve flight quality, airport traffic, and the development of new opportunities. 

Many airports have gone through a crisis of staff shortages at airports ,and so far, airports like London Airport have managed to mitigate the processes. Others like Amsterdam Airport have taken medium-term measures to ease the long queues and a large number of passengers transiting through the airport. 

That’s right, Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam announced a reduction in the number of passengers that will be able to transit through the airport. This is due to the lack of security personnel at the airport in the Netherlands in previous months. 

This measure will be in place until the end of March 2023. Thanks to this, the maximum number of passengers will also depend on previous agreements with the airlines, which will require more elaborate planning to minimize the consequences. 

In this sense, the aim is to minimize waiting times, and long queues and also to ensure the safety of the thousands of passengers who transit daily. Also to avoid collapse and various cancellations due to lack of personnel. 

Automatic passenger transit

Likewise, many technology companies are currently working on the creation of technologies that work under artificial intelligence to improve airport transit mechanisms, administrative processes, security, loading, unloading, and much more. 

Such is the case of GP Nauticals, who have developed a software system, especially for the aeronautical and maritime sectors. With a SUITE of products that are integrated to cover different types of needs, with the ability to analyze data in real-time that allow improvements in the development of the airport. 

Also, thanks to PAX AIMS, the airport will be able to audit passenger traffic, thanks to different checkpoints that allow scanning of boarding passes where the passenger and boarding list can be validated with the concessionaires to proceed to check-in. 

 This is just a small sample of the services that GP Nauticals has to offer. If you want to know more about each of our products do not hesitate to visit our products section

 

Total Airport Management Systems

Nowadays, technological transformation is a process that has been very present in all industries. However, in the airport sector it has made it possible to alleviate a series of deficiencies that had been occurring both externally and internally and that were slowing down its processes and hindering the development of the sector.

Having a total airport management system benefits travelers who spend long hours in airport facilities to check their luggage. Go through border controls and wait for the aircraft to be ready to finally make the flight, since this is only a small part of what an airport operates.

Optimizing each one of its operations, such as security, both of facilities and travelers, concessions, routes, airlines, administration and check-in, suppliers, among others. 

It guarantees an articulated and collaborative decision making process, where everyone involved has first hand information and in real time, which enables a great improvement in efficiency and avoids important monetary losses.

The main objective of an airport management system is to interconnect and integrate most of the information handled within the airport, thus ensuring the maximum flow of information on its operations, management and security, which results in a more efficient final service for travelers and more profitable for the airport.

The number of passengers increases year after year, which can end up collapsing airport operations and facilities, but building additional infrastructure is not always the most appropriate solution, due to high costs, permitting and development times; While implementing technological tools that help optimize the use of the infrastructure and its resources leads to a much lower investment, more controlled integration times and great benefits by considerably reducing the time aircraft spend on the ground, reducing fuel consumption, emissions and especially flight delays, something that passengers will surely appreciate.

A good airport management system brings together the operational complexities of airlines, airports and suppliers, encouraging the development and evolution of the industry, allowing a modular growth according to the traffic forecasts and commercial strategies of the interested parties, and all this thanks to the information management provided by this type of system.

Having real-time access to all the data derived from airport operations creates opportunities for improvement in very short periods of time that without this type of systems would take years to collect and analyze, to finally move on to a decision-making process where each participant will look after its own interests and not those of the community in general.

Currently many airports are looking to implement airport management systems and already in the market there is a significant amount of specialized software that in turn consist of several independent systems such as passenger check-in, passenger control, aeronautical fuel suppliers, among others that allow organizations to assemble a customized system that can integrate perfectly with their current software without having to paralyze operations or make large investments of money, time and knowledge transfer.

As we have mentioned in other articles, the software development company GP Nauticals has on the market a series of administrative systems for the aviation sector that separately can work to optimize a particular niche and optimize its operations, but that together create a robust administrative system that includes all the processes and port operations. If you want to know more about their range of products I invite you to visit their website. www.gpnauticals.com 

 

New challenges after COVID

Now that everything seems to be back to normal, the whole world is preparing to overcome the impact of Covid-19. 

In many countries, routine activities are already taking place as normal, without the need to wear masks. Others are enjoying festivals and concerts, but better yet, travel restrictions have been put aside to embrace the summer. 

Airports around the world are preparing to reach pre-pandemic traffic levels. However, they have faced unexpected challenges such as staff shortages and high passenger demand that have led to delays, cancellations and long queues. 

But this was not an impediment for people to enjoy their vacations after two years of confinement. 

Goodbye to controls… 

Thanks to the leveling of contagions and the good sanitary management in airport structures, countries such as Spain have announced the lifting of COVID controls, it will no longer be necessary to present the COVID passport or the traveler’s form, both at airports and those arriving in the country by cruise ships. 

However, requirements such as PCR tests performed 48 hours in advance and vaccination cards are still required. This is to ensure the safety and welfare of each passenger. Likewise, masks will still be used during flights.

In spite of this, the lifting of the controls is a great step to restructure international schedules and reopen the operation of routes that were still stopped. 

In addition, passengers are guaranteed safety and confidence during flights and stays at the air terminals.

This is why good times are ahead for the aeronautical and port sector. Where challenges will cease to have a negative connotation, to carry out new projects and improve the travel experience of each passenger. 

A reliable alternative… 

In order to accompany the challenges that may arise, GP Nauticals has developed within the SUITE, a specialized software called PAX AIMS, which is ideal to avoid long waiting lines.  In addition, it is capable of auditing the number of passengers passing through the airport facilities, in order to automate processes and optimize check-in and collection times. 

All this thanks to the checkpoints that will be deployed at the airports, which will improve the travel experience from the moment they set foot in the facilities. 

PAX AIMS can be integrated with other SUITE software according to the needs of each customer. If you want to know more information about our products, click here

Mobile applications in the aviation industry

In recent times, it’s evident how mobile applications related to air transport have multiplied, and have promoted major changes in the aviation industry. From the improvement of internal processes to cope with any kind of operational disruption, as happened during the pandemic, to those focused on customer satisfaction by transforming the way they travel.

We live in an interconnected world and there is a clear need to have as much information and services as possible on our mobile devices. Thanks to this, more and more airlines and airports are focusing their efforts on developing technology that allows them to be at the forefront of the needs while helping to reduce costs, optimize revenues, improve labor productivity, and above all innovate while making life easier for their passengers.

The use of this type of technology can also become a differentiating branding tool.  Now that many airlines are seeking to build customer loyalty through attractive benefits that play an important role in passengers’ decision to travel.

Now, let’s take a look at the latest technologies that have been used in the airline industry and are being tested around the world. 

For example, contactless self-check-in and baggage handling technology are being tested in many airports, as well as mobile applications that allow airlines to scan travelers’ passports and visas at different checkpoints, thus speeding up long waiting lines and reducing waiting times, which is a huge benefit for passengers.

On the other hand, airlines are looking for ways to integrate into their mobile applications options that allow passengers to manage their services without the need for a cabin crew member anywhere in the travel chain and especially without contact. So if a passenger wants to use the entertainment systems of the aircraft, he can do it just by scanning a QR code from his mobile device and thus choose what he wants to see while interacting with the crew to buy products or services such as food or duty-free items. 

These types of technology platforms not only serve to meet the needs of passengers, but also provide airlines and airports with the opportunity to understand passenger behavior and purchasing patterns. This allows companies to segment the market and personalize their offers.

Similarly, facial recognition technology continues to make inroads in the industry, and biometric identification options are expected to become common in the coming year, as their benefits are not only focused on passengers but also help to reduce costs, optimize resources, and speed up boarding times. 

Even now, facial recognition payment technologies and contactless fingerprint scanning are being tested. 

 Similarly, another area that is being impacted by mobile technology platforms is the administrative sector of the airline industry where they are beginning to implement port management systems that allow airports to manage data in real-time with cloud support. That helps the organizations involved to be more efficient in managing information, concessions, contracts, billing, and payment of services. 

Today there are many development companies specialized in the aviation industry that continually offer solutions that improve processes, encouraging a market that has been greatly affected in recent years by the pandemic of COVID-19 as is GP Nautical. who have focused their efforts on creating innovative technology platforms for the aviation sector that allows any port to have a management system of the last generation with minimal investment.

 

Next-generation platforms for airport operators

The emerging technologies developed for the next generation are designed to transform the way users travel, which will also impact the way things are done today.

 

We are seeing more and more airports creating mobile applications and making their processes more flexible to incorporate technology platforms to support their staff. Facilitating their work and also providing the security required by an industry such as aviation, and thanks to this, today we can enjoy mobile check-in stations, self-check-in machines, self-service baggage handling, and even mobile stations with tablet or smartphone devices that allow airlines or airports to manage all trips.

 

The implementation of this type of technology is not only destined to transform the way people travel. Also becomes an opportunity to break down airport infrastructure barriers and even resource or personnel limitations, giving airports the possibility to move forward without incurring large budgetary investments in remodeling and time. 

 

Now that passenger volumes have been increasing considerably and airlines or airports do not have enough staff to cope with the demand. These technological platforms have become a great ally for airport operators that also helps to increase passenger satisfaction by providing a safe, fast and agile service that makes their trip a pleasant experience.

 

The inclusion of this type of tool for airport operators does not entail a major problem, since they are easy to use for their staff, and instead of causing a more cumbersome process, it generates the opportunity to have passenger, baggage, and check-in information in real-time with cloud support, which allows them to have greater control over the information, with minimal errors.

 

Airport management systems, as they are generally known, can cover many areas, the most common are those corresponding to internal administration, in terms of concessions, billing, and contracts, but now we can enjoy more robust software that offers the possibility of managing suppliers such as aviation fuel, passengers, luggage and even FBO’s that until now were seen as external entities.

 

Airports incorporate high-tech

Airports incorporate high-tech. If we are talking about technological innovations, airports worldwide already enjoy the installation of technological devices that have been designed to improve the airport experience, from the moment you arrive at the terminal until you reach your destination. 

That’s right, in the past we could mention biometric structures, changes, and new trends in air terminals. 

However, today we will talk about security screening at Leonardo Da Vinci Airport in Rome and, about the implementation of autonomous capsules for people with limited mobility at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, United States. 

Secure carry-on baggage screening…

At Leonardo Da Vinci International Airport in Rome, the installation of high-tech scanners capable of detecting explosives and narcotics began. Conducted under the Smiths Detection organization, 30 inspection systems will be set up at Leonardo Da Vinci at different checkpoints. 

Smiths Detection’s HI-SCAN 6040 CTiX X-ray technology is capable of producing high-resolution volumetric 3D images to visualize the contents of carry-on baggage. This raises efficiency standards and will help reduce false alarms. 

In addition, with this technology, it will not be necessary to remove electronic items and liquids from baggage, which makes passenger screening optimal and less time-consuming. 

Autonomy for passengers with reduced mobility…

To enable users with reduced mobility to move around the airport with peace of mind, A&K Robotics and Southwest Airlines carried out tests of robotic capsules to assist passengers with limited mobility. 

The tests were conducted in Concourse C at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL), USA. This is undoubtedly a great improvement in the travel experience for passengers, where now, thanks to these autonomous electric modules, they will be able to move safely through the airport, reach boarding gates or move around the facilities.

These are just some of the technological innovations that are taken into account worldwide. That is why, to keep pace with the new era, it is necessary to improve and optimize the user experience in air terminals.

Likewise, the administrative infrastructure is also considered fundamental for the development of airports. To this effect, GP NAUTICALS has developed software that can be integrated to meet the needs of air terminals. 

If you want to know more just go to the products section and get to know the AIMS SUITE.

 

The use of biometrics in the aeronautical sector

The future is already here and thanks to the technological advances we are living today, we can use biometrics as a control and access system. Analyzing our facial features or body measurements that make each person a unique human being with specific characteristics.

But what does this process consist of? 

To identify a subject, all that is needed is to compare an incoming image with an image in the database. However, in the aeronautical field, this is a process that must be carried out in real-time and supported by software and a database that provides sufficient security to airport facilities.

 

For this reason, airports that have already implemented technologies like this support it with government databases that support their security personnel while streamlining their passenger check-in processes.

 

Using a passenger access control system with biometrics brings many advantages to the aviation industry, such as speeding up the entry process, making it faster and more efficient, and reducing the probability of identity fraud, since the system will identify the passenger’s features by comparing them with certified databases. 

 

Software without human manipulation, this type of technology and devices used to provide access cannot be manipulated, so the information handled here is secure and reliable. And last but not least hygiene, as the type of devices used for biometric identification or facial recognition, does not require any kind of contact, so it is ideal in these times of pandemic.

 

According to Annet Steenbergen, chair of the passenger facilitation working group at IATA, “The use of the human body as an authentication system will be the salvation to speed up the movement of people in air terminals”. Especially when it is expected that by 2037, more than 8 million passengers will be using airplanes for their transfers, more than twice as many as today.

 

Identification solutions using biometrics or facial recognition not only eliminate manual processes, offer a more satisfactory service for passengers, and reduce their waiting times at the airport but also help airlines and air terminals to comply with government and border agency regulations.

 

So far, the main use of facial recognition technology has been in the check-in areas of airports. However, within the same air terminals, it can also be used to provide privileged access to VIP lounges for frequent travelers, access to restricted areas for airport workers, or to offer specific premium services for those passengers who wish to pay for a more pleasant trip. 

 

At the moment, the implementation of facial recognition in the aviation industry is in its early stages, but we are sure that it will revolutionize the sector and replace many processes that are not so friendly so far.