Airport information systems are customized software packages that are designed to help meet airport’s data and operational management requirements. Such a software system consists of integrated software solutions/modules to meet the requirements of various domestic or international airports. The airline fleet owners and airport operators align their various airport information systems to optimize operations, improve customer relations, reduce overheads and thereby increase revenues. The major benefits of implementing airport information system are that it accurately updates the airport information online and provides the public/user with the required information which is consistent and accessible. The global airport information systems market can be segmented on the basis of airport size, the type of airport information system and the functions it performs. On the basis of airport information system type, the market can be segmented in to airport flight information display information, airport landing dues information, air traffic control administration, air traffic control over flight billing system, cash invoicing, handling agent system, security sentinel and gate guardian.
Fleet expansion plans by airlines and growing demand for air transport are the major factors contributing to the growth of the airport information systems market. Driven by improving economic conditions worldwide and increase in disposable income of individuals, there has been rise in both business and leisure travelers. This has resulted in airlines expanding their network and new airlines entering the market. Thus, to manage the fleet effectively and ensure smooth operations at airports, demand for airport information systems is expected to further grow. Moreover, airline operators are finding these information systems helpful in ensuring prompt and quality services for their customers.
Another factor contributing to the growth of airport information systems market is the demand for safer airport operations. Rise in airline traffic and number of passengers has made it necessary to control all the systems within and around the airport to ensure efficient and safe daily operations. By implementing automated airport information systems that are efficient and accurate, it is possible to reduce accidents thereby creating a safe environment for everyone. However, there are various factors that are adversely affecting the growth of this market. Rapid technological developments and high cost for upgrading the existing information systems makes it unaffordable for airline operators to constantly upgrade their existing systems. Moreover, due to minimal profit margins the airline operators are reluctant to invest in the short term benefits of implementing technologically advanced airport information systems. The situation is further compounded by high inflation and uncertain government policies related to aviation fuel, thereby deterring airline operators to invest on projects with extended return-on-investment (RoI) period. Such factors are the key challenges towards ensuring long term growth of this market.
The leading players in the market to retain their competitive position are increasingly focusing on mergers and acquisitions and are expanding their product mix. For instance, on Dec. 23, 2013, Rockwell Collins, Inc. successfully acquired ARINC Incorporated for USD 1.4 billion and on Aug. 28, 2014, it has announced its expansion plans in Brazil with a view to expand the size of its facility there. The other major players in the market are SITA, Rockwell Collins, Inc., Siemens AG, International Business Machines Corporation, Amadeus IT Group SA, INFORM GmbH and Ultra Electronics Holdings, among others.