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Danish gateway forms new IT company to help digitalise world’s airports


Copenhagen Airport (CPH) is to form its own IT company to sell digital services to airports worldwide.

Operator, Copenhagen Airports, has joined forces with Netcompany to form Smarter Airports A/S, which it says will be 100% dedicated to developing a new, market-leading digital platform for the efficient and sustainable operation of the airports of the future.

Once the solution has been implemented at Copenhagen Airport, the plan is to sell the system to airports worldwide.

Netcompany and CPH are prepared to invest a combined DKK200 million to get Smarter Airports A/S up and running and note that the company will finalise the development of its new digital, data-driven platform over the next 12 months.

“Notwithstanding the deep crisis currently facing the aviation industry, we need to replace the soon to be outdated IT system currently used to control traffic flows and support the passenger experience,” comments CPH CEO, Thomas Woldbye.

“This partnership enables us to combine our know-how and Netcompany’s competencies for the purpose of developing an innovative IT system able to meet the requirements of tomorrow for efficient and sustainable airport operations.

“Combining the best of the two Danish companies and sharing development costs, we have the chance to subsequently turn the system into a genuine export success by selling it to major airports worldwide.

“This is not only a good idea, it’s also good business, and on top of that, the project is in line with one of the airport’s strategic focus areas: To identify new revenue streams based on our existing strengths so we can continue the sustainable transition of the airport.”

By means of data, algorithms and artificial intelligence, the future digital platform will provide all new opportunities for mapping and integrating huge amounts of data on traffic handling, flight times, check-in and security.

In other words, by means of data, the solution will add significant value by optimising all processes relating to airport operations for the benefit of passengers, airlines and all businesses operating in and around the airport.

Woldbye points out that the new company will also present opportunities for upgrading the data skills of the employees and for developing new jobs in the aviation industry, which is extremely hard hit by the coronavirus crisis.

André Rogaczewski, CEO of Netcompany, notes: “Today, having a strong and flexible digital platform at the heart of any business is vital. In the case of Copenhagen Airports, this platform will not only guarantee stable, safe and transparent operations, but also be instrumental in optimising the airport based on insights into events and data and be key to handling the green transition. Our ambition with Smarter Airports is clear.

“Based on our respective positions of strength, we aim to build a new Danish export adventure and make the new, innovative digital platform the preferred solution of major airports across the world.

“Being able today, together with Copenhagen Airport, to present Smarter Airports that will develop the intelligent communication system of the future for state-of-the-art and sustainable airport operations, this is a big day for us,” he says.

The new joint venture is subject to the approval of relevant competition authorities.

• Up to DKK200 million will be invested to establishing Smarter Airports.
• The company is owned 50/50 by the parties.
• The system is expected to be ready for parallel operation at CPH in late spring 2021 and to be in full operation at CPH by end-2021.
• The system will subsequently be sold globally as a licence-based model.
• Regulatory approval is expected by end-2020, following which partner airports will be recruited to participate in the development.

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