The digital transformation challenge
What a difference the future makes
New technological possibilities are set to change the airport’s business model in the coming years in many different respects. Munich Airport is utilizing the opportunities offered by digitalization both publicly and behind the scenes in order to provide air passengers a seamless, uncomplicated, and safe and secure travel experience.
Digitalization offers new opportunities
Added value for customers and employees
Munich Airport creates added value for customers and employees through its targeted selection and mastery of the new technologies that come with digital transformation. The aim is to use digitalization to ensure operational excellence. This can only succeed by establishing a cultural framework that meets expectations and requirements in times of demographic change.
«Seamless Travel»: the ultimate travel experience
Munich Airport is benefiting from digital transformation and will safeguard its business model for the future accordingly. The company is helping to shape technological innovations so that it can offer passengers a variety of digital services to support them on their journey. Digitalization is the key to a seamless customer journey: punctuality of departure and arrival, good orientation and route guidance, as well as appropriate shopping options for passengers. Digital processes and tools therefore facilitate a «Seamless Travel» experience without hindrances or delays, which is enhanced with offers that are individually tailored to the needs of passengers and customers.
Target for 2020
Developing structures for connected campus mobility
New control technology reduces waiting time
A new technology for security checkpoints was tested at Munich Airport in 2019. Hand luggage is screened using a cutting-edge computer tomograph, which creates 3D images and can automatically detect solid and liquid explosives. This means that there is no need for passengers to unpack laptops, smartphones, and permitted liquids. While around 100 passengers could previously be security-checked per hour in one screening lane, the new technology can handle up to 260 passengers per hour – an increase of 160 percent per lane. Investment will now take place on a gradual basis: 29 devices and 27 new screening lanes are planned for Terminal 1, and another 32 devices and 21 screening lanes for Terminal 2.
80 services are offered at the airport, from parking to luggage storage.
Mr. Best, what objective have you set for yourself and your team?
Our goal is to advance digitalization at the airport to the benefit of the end customer. All of our activities focus on promoting seamless travel and creating a positive customer experience. Or to put it simply: Passengers and other visitors should have as enjoyable a stay as possible at the airport by providing them with relevant information and services at the right time. In the digital world, in particular, people like to be addressed personally where possible.
What added value can digitalization offer passengers?
We want to help shape technological innovations in order to make our services available digitally, too. At the same time, we want to develop a new understanding for customers and ensure personalized customer access.
How are your ideas greeted by airport staff?
I am convinced that we first have to create the cultural framework if we are to achieve change in the company. Our «Digital Days» event series has already allowed us to take in a number of different locations over the past three years. This format is already proving how rewarding it can be when employees examine problems and develop solutions themselves in line with design-thinking philosophy.
Change demands a new culture
Gearing up for «Airport 4.0»
Through its «Airport 4.0» interdisciplinary working group, the airport is networking the various areas of action in digitalization within the Group. The ongoing projects will create the cultural framework to strengthen the ability to learn and adapt as a basic requirement for the digital transformation and are therefore aimed at the most varied procedural levels of the airport. At the center of all initiatives are the customers and employees of Munich Airport.
Selected projects covered by «Airport 4.0»
Employee mobility on the campus is being redesigned as part of the Optimized Campus Mobility project. This is being done based on simulations that replicate the mobility requirements of airport employees and are interlinked with future infrastructure developments on the campus. The optimum mobility mix will be identified in this way.
A number of internal apps are already simplifying everyday working life. The «Passngr» app is successful externally.
- «Airport Community»
«ShuttleMe» is a free transport service that all Group employees can order via smartphone app. Three minibuses service more than 40 stops on the airport campus in accordance with demand. Users can track on the app where the shuttle is currently located and how long it will be before it reaches the pick-up or drop-off point. This flexible and convenient mobility service increases efficiency and minimizes negative environmental influences.
Passenger route analysis
Munich Airport is working on solutions to predict passenger volume and capacity levels in the terminal areas. For example, service staff can therefore be deployed optimally on-site, waiting times can be minimized, and the high standard of sojourn and service quality at Munich Airport can be further increased for passengers.
The new Group-wide intranet portal aims to provide a modern communication platform. Employees receive individualized information and can utilize the benefits and new functions of the Social Intranet. Cross-divisional collaboration and efficient knowledge transfer are key objectives behind the development of the platform. Responsive design ensures full use on stationary workstations and mobile devices.
Communicative company headquarters
A modern, sustainably designed office building is to be developed on the western side of the airport campus with a gross floor area of over 30,000 square meters. The agile working environment implemented here with its abundance of communication zones will promote information sharing within the teams and facilitate cross-divisional collaboration at Munich Airport.
The «Passngr» app provides passengers along the entire travel chain with individually tailored traffic updates and information on route alternatives, on the availability and prices of parking, on the expected duration of check-in, waiting times at security, and offers from restaurants and shops. «Passngr» was extended in 2019 by a number of features and its user-friendliness enhanced. The airports in Frankfurt, Berlin Schönefeld and Berlin Tegel, as well as Vienna were also incorporated. The plan for 2020 is to extend «Passngr» as a traveling companion that can be used worldwide with the inclusion of new services and flight data for other airports.
«Airport Community» app
Airport employees in operations areas will benefit primarily from the new «Airport Community» app: All real-time information relating to operation of the airport has been available to them in bundled form since 2019, including flight details, current waiting times at security checkpoints, as well as irregularities and disruptions in flight operation. The app also creates a cross-campus communication platform – apart from FMG, the app is also authorized for use by airlines, authorities, service providers, and external companies operating on the campus.
Considering the changes in demographics and to protect the health of the workforce, Munich Airport is investing in technologies to reduce the burden of physically demanding activities. Baggage handling is one example of this. A fully automatic loading and unloading system is currently being developed specifically for this area as part of a cross-organizational project in collaboration with the Fraunhofer Institute.
State-of-the-art center to avert cyber risks
As digitalization continues apace, the risks posed for companies must also be considered in addition to its positive effects. The Information Security Hub (ISH) is a center of excellence at Munich Airport developed to help combat the threat of cybercrime. The training opportunities here are broadly diversified and range from warding off simple theft of data through to simulations of risk scenarios. The program includes target group-specific training courses for all career levels and is aimed not only at employees of Munich Airport, but also interested parties from other critical infrastructure facilities and companies for whom IT security is particularly important. The Information Security Hub also includes a fictitious company in which cyberattacks and their defense can be realistically re-enacted with all stakeholders. The ISH has earned an excellent reputation for itself thanks to intensive collaboration with numerous institutions such as the Airports Council International (ACI).