The beginning of the new decade may have brought new challenges and unforeseen roadblocks for airport managers, pilots, and aviation specialists, but it also highlighted the way forward for the industry.
For many private pilots, hangar rent, utilities, and other costs became more of a concern during 2020. Airport staff found themselves waiving late fees and defining new policies for those tenants with a previously spotless record who faced unexpected financial hardship. In the midst of this, airports and airlines found themselves coping with new regulations, fluctuating revenues, and unexpected expenses.
As we enter a new decade, it is increasingly clear that airport management is in need of accessible, flexible systems to serve both staff and clients. Cloud-based account management is the norm in industries across the U.S., and airports, too, are seeing the benefits of virtual lease management, airport permitting, and vendor management.
Some executives may ask: Why transition to a new service, when our own is still adequate? Managers may be concerned about training staff on new software, disruption to services, or confusing tenants.
We recognize the challenges of moving to a new system, but in the face of new developments and changing business practices, it’s clear that the benefits of a cloud-based data management system far outweigh the temporary difficulties of switching over.
One of the most visible benefits of browser-based software is convenience, but cloud-based systems have so much more to offer than just convenience.
In our experience, some of the most appreciated aspects of going fully online is its enhanced reporting, data tracking, and analytics.
A well-designed cloud-based system can increase data accuracy and availability, as well as implementing targeted reporting. Data alone is not enough; airport staff need to be collecting the right data and linking them in a way that shows trends, problems, and narratives. Cloud-based management not only allows for targeted reports, but it makes this data widely accessible within the organization.
Planning airport expenses, predicting revenue, and creating a strategy for development requires high-quality comprehensive data, and cloud-based systems are uniquely suited to deliver that.
Streamlining Existing Practices
In our experience working with airport managers, a main concern is that a new system won’t accommodate all services and standards of operation. When switching from one system to another, some modifications to current practices will need to be made, but the best software incorporates and refines current practices, to create consistency while keeping core structures.
Implementing new software is often a helpful refresher on established procedure, letting your team work with developers to streamline the core operations and cut extraneous tasks. Improving workflows and internal logic—along with automating rote tasks saves time in the long run, and equips your staff to make the most of their time.
Not only that, but cloud-based airport management also opens the system up to customers and external users. Guest portals make it possible for your clients to manage their leases, pay bills, and communicate with airport staff from anywhere with an internet connection. Account balances and notifications are at customers’ and vendors’ fingertips.
Responsive interfaces allow pilots to apply for a permit and pay landing fees from the cockpit, eliminating the need for pilots to deplane and enter the airport to register and pay for a space on the apron. Some systems allow pilots to pay for landing fees, fuel, water, and other services from a cellphone or tablet, making collecting payment faster and simpler, and increasing convenience for pilots and airlines.
Internally, staff can also access their system from anywhere with a browser window. Now, managers can log in, review activity, and carry out day to day tasks even while off-site. And the infrastructure required for many systems’ core utilities is minimal, requiring only internet access and devices with a browser.
System Longevity and Affordability
Perhaps most compelling of these arguments is the potential for systems with minimal obsolescence and a low price point.
Cloud-based software is already tailor-made to weather updates. Expansions and new developments have a clear path to integration and deployment, and with a subscription-based system, it’s even easier for airport managers to opt in or out of new features. With aviation practices always evolving and new innovations always on the way, it makes sense to have a management system that can accommodate and build off of these changes.
And, as always, affordability is key. Cloud-based systems are often more efficient for providers to maintain, and decreased costs on a distributor’s end allow them to offer a more competitive price point.
Whether your airport has undergone serious changes in the past few years or held the course, it’s worth considering the switch to cloud-based management. Not only do airports that transition early stay ahead of the curve on new features, but airports that get involved during the formative years of this service will get to define many central tenets and practices as they partner with providers and developers.
As we enter a new decade, airport executives are facing the question of when, not if, to move to the cloud. Offer your customers, vendors, and staff the best environment in which to build relationships and conduct business. From comprehensive data libraries to new innovations, there’s a sea-change in the air for the world of airport management.
RevJet is a software development company providing custom software solutions to airport managers and their teams. Headed by Satish Dola and Jay West, RevJet has been building cutting edge solutions for clients across the United States with a team of experienced developers and industry experts.
To learn more about RevJet or our products, visit our website at RevJet360.com.