Delivering smooth operations at the airport involves hundreds of different contributors working closely together to ensure flights depart on time and travellers enjoy a rewarding experience.

This joint effort is even more important during times of disruption, when unexpected events such as bad weather, medical emergencies, threats etc. can trigger an immediate reaction or need for change, and airports must react quickly to reallocate resources like stands and gates.

According to a recent Amadeus survey with 150 senior aviation leaders, 67% of airlines are experiencing more or similar levels of disruption than in 2019, and a ‘lack of common technology that brings stakeholders together’ is the number one barrier preventing better management of disruption.

Today, information silos and groups using different devices to communicate mean it’s difficult for actors to share information, gain a common situational awareness, and communicate effectively.

It is against this backdrop that Amadeus has developed an entirely new approach to managing operations at the airport using Microsoft solutions. The introduction of Amadeus Virtual Airport Operations Centre (APOC) enables a broad range of stakeholders like airlines, airports, border control, and service providers to co-operate in a fully digitalised airport operations centre.

The Amadeus-developed solution is designed as an app for Microsoft Teams, bringing involved parties together to better manage day-to-day operations around a single plan, whilst making it easier for the aviation industry to respond more quickly during disruption. Importantly, airport stakeholders benefit from Microsoft Azure Machine Learning capabilities that simulate the impact of potential plans so they can be continually fine-tuned.

The innovation answers the industry’s call for better ways to collaborate by providing a single, comprehensive view of the health of an airport’s operations, unified communication channels within Teams that replace ad hoc emails and phone calls, and event-driven alerts that proactively prompt stakeholders to act on recommendations. These capabilities combined make it easier to take informed decisions that deliver improved responsiveness and better operational outcomes.

Rudy Daniello, Executive Vice President, Airport and Airlines Operations, Amadeus commented: “The aviation industry is working hard to deliver flights on-time with minimal disruption, often in challenging circumstances. Yet we know data silos and outdated communications channels are making the job even harder. That’s why we’ve invested and worked with Microsoft to deliver a virtual operations center that can super-charge collaboration and improve decision-making at the airport. APOC represents our second joint venture with Microsoft and is testament to the robustness of our partnership.”

Julie Shainock, Managing Director Travel, Transport & Logistics, Microsoft said: “Information silos in aviation are preventing the industry from reaching its operational potential. Everyday opportunities to better optimize operations are missed because stakeholders can’t access a single source of information and haven’t had the necessary decision-support tools. The combination of our experience in cloud computing and user experience, with Amadeus’ deep understanding of aviation processes, means we’ve been able to accelerate development to answer the industry’s need for a comprehensive, shared operations management tool.”Subscribe to the FINN weekly newsletter