12 September 2020
Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) is joining global airports to become a digital airport operator with the adoption of new technology and processes via close collaboration with stakeholders including airlines and government agencies.
Group chief executive officer Datuk Mohd Shukrie Mohd Salleh said the airport operator did not foresee complications in implementing new technology in order to remain in par with other global airports are rapidly heading towards digital airports.
“However, there is a need to reinforce on change management to improve current standard operating procedures (SOPs), manage the expectation and communication to ensure the need for changes are well understood and supported by passengers and visitors alike coming into our airports,” he told the New Straits Times.
With aspirations to maintain the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) as a leading international airport, Mohd Shukrie said the likelihood international passengers choose to transit in this airport is greater due to enhanced and advance technology features implemented in KLIA, coupled with a robust connectivity network.
He said this, in turn will significantly contribute to the increase in passenger traffic.
“From an efficiency standpoint, we will benefit from potentially reduced operational costs (as some of the work will be augmented/replaced by technology) and improved performance, as well as a safer and more seamless passenger journey,” he said.
Digital airport facilitates the recovery of air travel as facilities and services were designed to boost passenger confidence in various aspects such as safety and convenience.
Mohd Shukrie said the Single Token facility, which allows passengers to have faster clearance at each touchpoint with very minimal physical contact, is part of MAHB’s Airports 4.0 initiative, aiming to transform KLIA into a digital airport through the use of ‘single token’ data and big data analytics for passengers to pass through all touchpoints seamlessly.
“We will continue to place high emphasis on technology and automation enhancements at our airport as we remain vested and committed in providing a safe airport experience and environment for our passengers, airport staff and the public.
“Therefore, we are forging ahead with our Airports 4.0 initiative in phases and whereby the investments on digitalisation programmes will be spread over the next three to four years,” he said.
Airports 4.0 is a digital initiative implemented across MAHB’s selected local airports network.
Early this year, MAHB had completed its network migration to a new core network architecture at KLIA which allowed the airport to leverage on the latest cutting edge technologies such as 5G, Wifi6 and Internet of Things (IoT).
Other digital-led technology such as the Airport Collaborative Decision Making (ACDM) system will also help the airport to manage its resources better and more efficiently.
ACDM allows the airport to collaborate more effectively with its airline partners through the sharing of real time information.
“MAHB is currently embarking on the ACDM initiative in hope to gain more efficiency in flight operations, among others. As for the Single Token journey which is powered by facial recognition, this technology will improve turnaround time at the main checkpoints from an average of 15-20 seconds today to less than two to three seconds,” he said.
Mohd Shukrie said MAHB is in the midst of tendering process for several projects and the airport operator will identify the right partners to support its digital airport transformation journey.