Airports Centre of Excellence members deliver Application Programming Interface for AODB

Airports Centre of Excellence members deliver Application Programming Interface for AODB

As part of the Digital Passenger Experience Project at Glasgow Airport (GLA), a number of the Airports Centre of Excellence (ACoE) members worked together in collaboration to deliver an innovative solution to improve the passenger experience and operational efficiencies.

The project delivered an airport Application Programming Interface (API) service into GLA which enables cloud based access to operational flight data through a RESTFul API architecture.  GLA’s key requirement was to work seamlessly with digital platforms such as smartphones to ensure consistency of data when sharing key flight information to all partners.

Since the airport API went live in July 2017, GLA has the ability to share flight data from its Airport Operational Database (AODB) with any party on a real time basis.

The major benefit for GLA is they can create APIs very quickly and accurately without the need for lengthy and costly development of specific “point to point” interfaces. The airport API has the ability receive data as well as send data (a future requirement) and is also AODB vendor agnostic.

This project demonstrates the value that ACoE brings in terms of collecting and understanding the needs of the airport and then working with the ACoE partners and members to deliver the best possible solution. In this case, the solution not only addresses some of challenges for today but also enables future digital innovation.

ACoE members involved in this project were:

Ferrovial Airports (Partner of ACoE) and Ferrovial Innovation instigated the Project as part of the Digital Passenger Improvement initiative at GLA.

Gonzalo Velasco from Ferrovial Airports said “The aim of DPE project is to improve the passenger experience within the airport at Glasgow. With the previous analysis done in the airport regarding the flight information provided by the FIDS (Flight Information Display System), a clear necessity of development and implementation of an open interface (API) was observed. An open Interface which will read the fight information from the Airport Operating Database (AODB) and easily make this available in real time to the various mediums, including third parties was the main core. Improving the operational performance of the provision of services at the airport, and hence increase the passenger satisfaction were the main pre-fixed objectives.

Now, after the completion of the API, operational performance of the airport has been improved through real time flight data provision. This achievement has shown a possibility of maximizing the corresponding revenues at the Glasgow airport through possible commercial agreements with third parties with which to market these open APIs”

Lion & Gazelle (Member of ACoE) with their extensive experience of airport operations and commercial needs, carried out detailed analysis of the customer requirements (internal and external). They managed the project and ensured that the project objectives were met.

Glasgow Airport (Member of ACoE) was the main customer and provided detail requirements with regards to performance and operational levels required for the API. Teams from Procurement, IT, Operations and Commercial all played a key role in ensuring that the solution considered all aspects of the airport operation.

Malcolm Surgenor, Head of IT at AGS airports said “Over the recent past, GLA has had multiple requests from third parties for access to ‘up to the minute’ flight data. Rather than continue to investigate and develop solutions to individually satisfy each of these demands, GLA decided to invest in a single flexible solution to provide its key customers with access to the data they required to more efficiently run their operations. That solution is a highly configurable API that accesses the GLA AODB, The API allows new requests for data to be configured and provided extremely  quickly, shaving off weeks of effort over previous mechanisms.  GLA have already developed eight interfaces, delivering tailored benefits to key customers such as EasyJet, OCS and others and are already investigating the potential for other enhancements previously thought to be to be too costly to justify.

Azinq (Member of ACoE) provided the technical design, development and ongoing support for the Airport API (an Azinq product). Azinq have extensive experience in the area of airport operational systems.

Chris Taylor, director at Azinq said “One of the key issues for airports and their partners is the lack of flexibility to share and collaborate on real-time operational data. Azinq are very privileged to be able to deliver a solution which addresses these challenges and provides real benefit to all stakeholders in the airport community.

BizTweet (Member of ACoE) was one of the recipients of the API data. BizTweet provided a real world test case for the use of the data.

Paul Brugger, CEO at BizTweet said “The API project at GLA has empowered them to deliver real-time flight information via Twitter and Facebook (functionality going live in December 2017) directly to individual passengers. In addition to operational updates, the opt-in service, uniquely pushes commercial offers depending on the passengers flight and/or social data, which is defined and configured via the BizTweet User Interface. The API means GLA is now able to digitally enhance the Passenger Experience withreal-time operational updates and relevant commercial messages direct to the passengers WiFi device.”

The ACoE continues to grow it’s membership of airports and suppliers and plans to deliver further innovative projects for airports. The projects are designed to improve the passenger experience and operational performance whilst increasing commercial revenue.