Intelligent automation: High-level digitalisation is creating a new phase of airport operations

Critical staffing shortages and customer demands for fast, excellent and personal service make this the perfect moment for airports to consider intelligent automation.


Intelligent automation is automation that, with the help of data analytics, can take over more advanced airport tasks.

The acute labour shortage is perhaps the biggest challenge for airports and the entire business community. Unfortunately, many have bought into the myth that any type of automation will costs jobs, and losing more people is something no one wants to think about at this moment.

Your ‘new blood’ is already in the building

In reality, airports need to address the current crisis, and be prepared to react to future disturbances in operations. As such, data driven technologies are now essential to airport operations. Intelligent automation actually frees up staff for more relevant and creative tasks, resulting in a better use of valuable human resources.

Airports desperately need more talented people. If that ‘new blood’ can be found internally by automating some processes and freeing up already available personnel, that is a win for everyone concerned. And when an employee finds a new job more rewarding, that is another plus.

Employees that may have been considering looking elsewhere to get away from a monotonous task may well be inspired to stay by taking on a more challenging position. An increased rate of employee satisfaction can lead to better employee retention, and help you to develop a better workplace culture.

When staff is forced to do the same mundane tasks over and over, there will always be the chance of human error. These errors can be incredibly harmful. They account for roughly 82 percent of production errors and 50–70 percent of failures in electronic equipment, according to a report from Thoughtful Automation.

Human error can be costly and time-consuming to correct. Intelligent automation can eliminate these mistakes, saving time and resources

High level customer service

Machine learning tools enable intelligent decisions, so the additional challenge of growing demand for fast service can also be tackled by data-driven technology.

Meeting expectations can be accomplished with the right division of labor between people and machines, where artificial intelligence and advanced cognitive technologies ensure rapid response, thus freeing human resources to provide top-notch personal service.

This high-level digitalisation can create a new phase in management, operations and maintenance where an airport’s efficiency is enhanced by the ability to predict irregularities and remove them before they even occur.

It’s already working

Unfortunately, there is a prevailing myth that adopting intelligent automation is somehow risky.

In reality, these technologies have been proving their effectiveness for several years.

A survey conducted in 2019 by the Economist Intelligence Unit of 502 managers in eight countries, showed that as many as 73 percent of the respondents were satisfied with the benefits they experienced from automation.

Airports have everything to gain through the development and use of intelligent automation, and as the use of data becomes more and more advanced, adoptees can look forward to even greater opportunities for optimal system performance made possible through machine learning algorithms.



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