Airports looking at apps for non-aeronautical revenues

SITA‘s annual look at airport IT trends reveals airports are increasingly interested in looking to generate income from passengers using the airport.

Looking ahead to 2019, the airports’ attitude to what SITA describes as non-aeronautical revenues will result in a different experience for passengers.

But within the next few years there will be a shift away from free wifi to the limited access hybrid approach. By 2019 only 54% of airports will offer free wifi, with more than one-in-three (37%) opting for the hybrid approach.


This idea to charge passengers for wifi sits uneasily with another finding in the report which says that, by 2019, 84% of airports plan to sell “airport services” through an app. This is a big increase on last year’s survey when 68% were looking at selling ancillaries via an app.

And smartwatches appear to be of interest to airports, with 29% saying that by 2019 it will be selling airport services via these devices.

Having stated their desire to generate more revenue through mobile apps while reducing passengers’ access to free wifi, airports are guilty of another disconnect when it comes to payment mechanisms – only one-in-three (34%) are looking at in-app payment options such as Apple Pay or Android Pay.

Even SITA thinks this is “surprising”.

The biggest current issue for airports is security, which has risen in importance over the past twelve months. While managing passenger flow remains the airport industry’s number one IT focus, security is now a high priority for 50% of airports, up from 37% last time.

Click here to read SITA’s press release, which includes a link to register for the survey in full.

NB Image by TEA/

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