Netcompany and CPH form IT company to digitise airports worldwide
CPH and Netcompany are forming a new company, Smarter Airports A/S, to develop a new, market-leading digital platform for 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.
Copenhagen Airport has been named the most efficient airport in Europe fifteen out of seventeen times – most recently in 2019. Based on this position of strength, the airport has partnered up with Netcompany to develop a new market-leading digital platform for efficient operation of the airports of the future.
Netcompany and CPH are prepared to invest up to DKK 200 million combined to the company, Smarter Airports A/S. The company plans to finalise the development of the 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“Notwithstanding the deep crisis currently facing the aviation industry, we need to replace the soon to be outdated IT system currently used to control traffic flows and support the passenger experience. 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,” says Thomas Woldbye, CEO of Copenhagen Airports.
“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,” Woldbye adds.
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.
Thomas 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.
Digitalisation to drive the future
André Rogaczewski, Netcompany’s CEO, sees great perspectives in the partnership with Copenhagen Airport:
“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,” says Rogaczewski and adds:
“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.
Netcompany and CPH are already working full speed to develop the new digital, data-driven core system, but are now transferring these activities to a new joint venture.
“Data is a fundamental part of the solution and will be a valuable tool in building a more sustainable and efficient airport operating on the basis of intelligent data analysis. We’re confident that the successful airport of the future is a data-driven airport,” says Rogaczewski.
Confidence in the future
At Copenhagen Airport, CEO Thomas Woldbye emphasises that it is a forward-looking partnership.
“We believe in a sustainable post-pandemic future for aviation, and the new digital platform will play a crucial role in that future. The partnership with Netcompany enables us to make a technological quantum leap and take the digital lead with a system that can be rolled out across the world. This could give us a competitive edge when passengers return and we’re faced with fierce competition from other European regions and airports in restoring routes and networks,” says Woldbye.
The new joint venture is subject to the approval of relevant competition authorities.
Facts about SMARTER AIRPORTS
- Up to DKK 200 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.