Finland’s airports to embrace cloud technology
Helsinki and ten other Finavia operated airports in Finland are set to embrace cloud technology in a pioneering move to combat COVID-19 disruption and better equip them for future growth.
According to IT partner, Amadeus, cloud solutions will help deliver an exceptional check-in and boarding experience at Finland’s gateways and accelerate innovations like contactless payment for a more agile response to COVID-19.
The move comes as Helsinki Airport is currently undergoing the biggest expansion programme in its history. The other gateways set to benefit from the move to the cloud are thought to include Rovaniemi and Turku.
Finavia serves more than 50 airlines that operate scheduled flights and their ground handling companies and has over 600 check-in desks at the airports. The airport company chose Amadeus Flow, an integrated cloud solution, to modernise all aspects of passenger handling including software, hardware and services.
With the new cloud platform, a single internet link connects Finavia’s airports to Amadeus where any airline application can be easily deployed in a matter of hours.
Frictionless payment allows travellers to pay more easily with contactless technology. This is just one example of an additional innovation delivered via Amadeus and the first to be implemented.
Its Airport Pay solution will be deployed from the cloud allowing passengers to pay for ancillary services such as extra baggage or lounge access conveniently and in a contactless manner at all check-in desks.
The flexibility of the cloud infrastructure means that Finavia, airlines and ground handling companies can easily open, close or move check-in desks, boarding gates or services with agility in response to fluctuating passenger demand caused by COVID-19.
This agility will also be used to better cope with seasonal demands at airports like Lapland, where passengers will be able to check in and even drop their bags from Lapland’s hotels in future.
Finavia’s chief information officer, Leyla Akgez-Laakso, said: “We’re moving to an open cloud platform and that means we can roll out new innovations far more easily, without lengthy certification cycles or on-site IT projects.
“We’re now well placed to add innovations like contactless payments quickly and easily without the need for Finavia to become a systems integrator. Airports are digitally transforming and I believe COVID-19 marks a tipping point where our industry goes cloud.”
Discussing one of Finavia’s planned innovations Akgez-Laakso added: “Many of our regional airports are heavily seasonal, imagine Lapland in December. We have plans to harness the cloud to offer airlines a possibility to check in passengers at hotels, reducing queues and the demand on services at the terminal.”
The major technology modernisation will also see a full hardware refresh including 600 agent workstations, printers and scanners which are all fully integrated into the Amadeus Flow platform.
The migration will begin to yield benefits during 2021 and is expected to be fully completed at 11 of Finavia’s 20 airports at the beginning of 2022.
Yannick Beunardeau, vice president for airport IT, EMEA, at Amadeus, said: “The immediate pressures of COVID-19 and the demands of long-term digital transformation both require a new approach to airport technology.
“Airports need to be able to roll out new capabilities quickly and they need to be able to adapt services to changing requirements of passengers. By choosing to run its infrastructure from the cloud with Amadeus, Finavia is ready to innovate for many years to come.”