Cautious view on airport IT spend, but set to rise in 2013

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Airports have adopted a cautious approach to IT and telecom investment spend this year amid the tough market conditions, but more than half expect to increase spend next year as the outlook improves.

The latest Airport IT Trends Survey, delivered in partnership by Airline Business, Airports Council International and SITA, shows around a third of airports expect IT&T spend to remain the same this year, 31% expect it to fall and 36% expect budgets to increase.

But there is a more optimistic view for next year as 52% of airports expect IT&T spend to increase in 2013. Again around a third of airports expect spend to remain unchanged and just 15% anticipate IT&T spend will but cut next year.

The annual benchmarking survey, now its ninth year, tracks airport IT investments trends. This year's survey illustrates the emphasis airports are putting on using technology to improve service for the passenger. The survey identified improving passenger experience as the biggest driver in making IT investment decisions.

Airports are putting mobile technology at the heart of this. Smart-phone apps are seen by airport as becoming their top channel for customer service communication by 2015, by which time 88% of airports plan to provide applications for passenger information via mobile.

The survey results are based on responses from 91 airport operators, representing the views of 173 airports worldwide, managing 2.3 billion passengers per year.

To download the free executive summary of the Airport IT Trends Survey and to find out more about this and its sister Airline IT Trends Survey, go to the  IT zone.