Melbourne Airport Launches Digital Transformation to Become a Smart City
Operational efficiency, customer experience, situational awareness
"Melbourne Airport is an extremely important tourist and business gateway for the state of Victoria," explains Vic Raymond, ICT Planning and Delivery manager. "We expect to be about 64 million passengers by 2033, which is double where we are now. To service this growth, we need to use all our assets in a smarter fashion, and we think that technology, amongst other things, will allow us to move from a mini city to a smart city, and provide major value-add for our customers and the business.
"To become a smart city, we need to move from being reactive to more proactive, and then eventually to predictive. For this to occur, we need a number of things to fall into place. For example, we collect a lot of data, and we need to understand the context of that data and turn it into reliable information sources that can be used to make informed decisions. Some of the challenges we need to resolve are also not just about technology but include people and processes. We've put a lot of effort into all three areas and now have the right balance to build better overall systems and solutions including situational awareness."
"Part of the challenge was to break down silos," says Andrew May, senior consultant with Nukon, a TIBCO partner and systems integrator for Melbourne Airport. "There's a huge number of working assets that are a part of that customer journey that have to come together to make it useful from an operational perspective."
"I needed a mature, sustainable, maintainable technology vendor with a vision for the future that was in line with mine," continues Mr. Raymond. "Nukon jumped through hoops going out to the market and looking at prospective technology solutions for our project. They came back with TIBCO as the answer, and it's been proven to be great. With TIBCO, we saw a great fit."
"Melbourne Airport approached us in late 2015 because of our reputation for delivering real-time manufacturing and operational intelligence systems," says Mr. May. "Given the complex nature of the airport business, we needed a platform that could support the strategic vision, not just now, but something that is going to be evolving 10 years from now, a foundation that is vendor agnostic and allows connecting a large number of devices, any device whether an IT system, a control system, or another type of asset, and then present that in a user friendly way. TIBCO technology is a core enabler. TIBCO StreamBase®, TIBCO® Live Datamart, TIBCO ActiveMatrix BusinessWorks™, and TIBCO Enterprise Message Service™ enable the information to come together."
Operational Efficiency and Customer Journey Improvements
"Resolving some of the challenges allowed us to move ahead with the opening of the T4 terminal in a far more operationally efficient manner, without major increases in staffing," says Raymond. "We've also been able, in many instances, to improve the customer journey through the airport. We have a long way to go there, but we're on that path right now."
"One of the requirements was to deliver the platform in quite a compressed timeframe, which would only be possible using off-the-shelf configuration components rather than developing software," says May. "Considering the difficulty and complexity of the people and technology landscape at the airport, we were able to deliver the platform build in roughly 12 weeks, which is remarkable given the number of applications we've been able to integrate and the overall user interface result.
Enabling Situational Awareness
"The situational awareness platform is one component of a much larger project," says May. "We've been able to leverage all those sources of truth, from aircraft scheduling, aircraft real-time positioning, fire, baggage handling, and other core platforms. We're bringing all of that information together in a cohesive way for enhancing the ability of the Enhanced Airport Co-ordination Center (EACC) operators to get a full understanding in real time of the current airport operational situation."
"The business outcomes we've achieved have been wide and varied," says Raymond, "from operational efficiencies through to the situational awareness where we understand across the range of the business what's going on day to day, including security and incident management. We will continue to expand the solution to incorporate all operational parts of the business including parking and ground transport and retail. We want to personalize the customer experience and make it a far more comfortable, more meaningful journey."