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Cairns and Mackay Airports smooth operations with new Veovo AODB

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The North Queensland Airports Group (NQA) owns and operates two of Australia’s busiest regional airports. Cairns Airport, the gateway to the UNESCO World Heritage listed Great Barrier Reef and Wet Tropics, including the iconic Daintree Rainforest, and Mackay Airport, located in the heart of the Central Queensland resource centres and a travel hub for the Whitsunday islands. Together, they welcome almost six million passengers each year from domestic and international destinations. 

As tourists flock to the region, NQA wanted to ensure its operational technology platform was able to underpin its growth strategy and power its customer experience and operational performance goals. 

While the airport’s current airport management system was stable and reliable, the platform ran from on-premise software accessible only from desktops with software installed. This meant that while some teams could access real-time operational data from the Airport Operations Database (AODB), others working in the various parts of the airport could not, impacting their ability to proactively handle changes to the schedule or unexpected events.  

AODB access – by role, from anywhere 

To create a trusted source of truth accessible by all airport teams and partners, NQA decided to make the shift to Veovo’s web-based Intelligent Airport Platform. 

Acting as a central ‘brain’, Veovo’s AODB and Flight Management modules now provide a single portal for Cairns Airport and its partners to access up-to-date information about flights and resources when they need it, while also allowing for the remote management of Mackay Airport’s operations. As airline updates are automatically fed through the platform via a common AIDX standard, all users now have confidence that the data informing their decisions is accurate and up to date. As staff have so many roles and responsibilities, the system’s ability to prioritise their workload through alerts, notifications and recommendations has significantly improved efficiencies and performance.  

The airport operator has also chosen to upgrade its Flight Information Display System. With Veovo Guest Engagement’s use of templated designs and rule-based content management, the team can now quickly and consistently update each screen’s layout and tailor flight information, messages, and advertising to passenger-specific needs. As a result, video walls and dynamic displays now provide visitors with a visually appealing way to navigate the airport and stay informed. 

Scalable and flexible as needs grow 

Following Veovo’s well-proven design and delivery methodology, the next-generation technology platform went live and now brings a new level of scalability and intelligence to support the evolving needs of the two airports. As passenger numbers grow and system use expands, Veovo AODB’s processing power can easily handle increased data loads and integrate new functionalities. 

By shifting to the new web-based platform, the airports have also taken important steps to continuously improve their operations. The new modern platform and continuous development and delivery approach allow the operator to test and roll out software updates faster and more efficiently. Examples include the ability to make incremental changes and updates to their technology stack for performance and security benefits and improve regulatory compliance and reporting. This seamless and routine cycle of frequent updates and deployments also encourages a feedback-driven development approach, meaning customer feedback can be more readily incorporated into the development process. 

‘Deploying this new capability has significantly improved our operational efficiency and helped the airport respond faster to the needs of airlines and passengers”, commented Bevan Blakeney, Manager of ICT for NQA. “We also look forward to being able to quickly access new capabilities as they become available and take advantage of Veovo’s developments in Artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML) and automation.” 

Cairns Airport was crowned Airport of the Year twice in 2023, by separate leading industry bodies. Cairns scooped the Major Airport of the Year category at the Australian Airports Association (AAA) National Airport Industry Awards, just a couple of months after winning Airport of the Year at the Australian Aviation Awards.  

Airplanes at gates Cairns Airport
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