Melbourne Airport plans for its future passenger growth with continued technology transformation

Melbourne Airport this week announced that it has chosen to extend its contract with leading technology partner SITA for flexible and passenger-friendly technology to ready the airport for forecast passenger growth.

The technology is part of the airport’s multi-billion dollar pipeline of investment that will see it welcome almost 70 million passengers annually by 2038. The passenger-friendly technologies should enable the airport to maintain a strong traveller experience as passenger numbers rise, supporting increasingly busy operations for its airline customers.

SITA is a long-term partner of Melbourne Airport and already supplies a variety of flexible services for passenger check-in and bag drop in its International Terminal. Those technologies will now increasingly be rolled out across other terminals, expected to culminate in more than 400 passenger touchpoints including mobile and standard check-in desks, gate boarding, self-service check-in kiosks, hybrid and standard self-bag drops.

These are based on SITA’s common-use platform, AirportConnect Open which is already used at hundreds of airports worldwide. Within Australia the common-use platform is already available at other major airports, including Brisbane, Adelaide, Gold Coast and Cairns.

Melbourne’s new hybrid check-in areas will allow the airport to offer a balance of agent and self-service passenger processing which can vary on the time of day, type of passenger traffic and airline preference. This flexibility supports the traveller-focused redesign of the airport terminals.

“Technology plays an increasingly important role in the operation of an airport, particularly as we strive to streamline the passenger journey through the airports and make the processing experience as unobtrusive as possible,” says Luke Halliday, CIO, Melbourne Airport. “The flexible hybrid solution designed and being delivered by SITA will boost capacity while maintaining a customer-centric approach and contributing to our overall success.”

The Blue Swan Daily sat down with SITA president, Asia Pacific, Sumesh Patael during this week’s Airline CEOs in Seoul Global Summit & Gala Dinner in Seoul, South Korea, where he discussed the continued technological evolution of the industry and how it can support the deliver of more efficient and personalised services to air travellers.

He said Melbourne Airport’s expansion and development has been focused on delivering a “unique experience for travellers while maximising the use of its infrastructure”. Explaining how Melbourne Airport and SITA have collaborated, he explained SITA has designed “an optimal solution” for the airport to extend the services available in the airport’s international terminal, to make those technologies available to support domestic travelers as well. “Our close partnership ensures that the best solution is delivered, future proofing the airport’s long-term technology investment,” he added.

Melbourne is projected to be Australasia’s largest city by population, by the year 2030. It has been voted the global sports city of the decade and the world’s most liveable city seven years in a row. SITA’s technology will certainly help its airport gateway to better manage its future growth while maintaining a high level of passenger service.