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Remote Australian airport embraces cloud technology


Port Hedland International Airport, based in a remote area of Western Australia and in the midst of a terminal redevelopment programme, has become one of the first regional airports in the Antipodes to embrace the cloud for common-use check-in and boarding systems.

The airport expects that turning to the cloud will give it an edge when it comes to passenger processing and sustainability.

It also means that it has been able to retire traditional workstations and replace them with modern thin-clients, which are allegedly ten times more energy efficient. Thin-client devices are simple, low-power, computers that provide an interface to the cloud, where computing tasks are undertaken by more efficient servers.

It also, of course, shows that cloud-based technology can also benefit smaller airports by allowing them to utilise modern technology without the need for extensive on-site IT capabilities.

Another benefit of the new cloud technology – courtesy of  Amadeus ACUS – is that it is expected to facilitate better collaboration within the airport itself as all stakeholders from airport to airline and ground handling staff can access critical passenger handling applications from anywhere, using an internet connection.

This includes the deployment of passenger systems and tools to off-terminal and off-airport locations, a strategy which could be implemented to reduce queues at the terminal and improve the service offered to passengers.

Moreover, says Amadeus, the technology will empower airline agents with the tools they need to deliver a more personalised service to passengers.

From the airport’s perspective, the need for dedicated equipment per airline has been removed, meaning Port Hedland International Airport can use its terminal space more efficiently, and create a smoother passenger flow from kerb-to-gate.

The move comes as part of the airport’s terminal upgrade and continued investment in modernising its infrastructure with start-of-the-art technology.

Airport CEO, Dave Batic, said: “With what we’ve experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic, the need for agile airport operations is clear. Despite the impact to aviation, we’re pleased to see passengers returning quickly to our airport.

“Looking ahead, our investment in both the terminal redesign more broadly and Amadeus ACUS will future-proof our operations, enabling us to harness the flexibility of the cloud and add new innovations to benefit passengers, such as off-terminal and off-airport check-in.”

Sarah Samuel, Amadeus’ senior vice president for airport and airline operations, APAC, noted: “This project is a great example of how the benefits of cloud solutions can meet the needs of airports of all sizes.

“Despite being a remote airport in far northwestern Australia, Port Hedland is committed to investing in its passenger services and we’re pleased to support its vision for more efficient and innovative passenger services.”

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