Heathrow to get £400 million ‘IT overhaul’

BAA is making big changes to its IT operations and teaming up with Capgemini in the process.

Airport

The owner of Heathrow today confirmed it would be pumping 400 million into revamping IT at the airport.

BAA announced plans for an "IT overhaul" over the next two years, designed by Heathrow's chief information officer (CIO) Phillip Langsdale, with four key aims.

He hopes to improve the experience of passengers by providing more real-time information both at the airport and online and give airlines better infrastructure for check-in, baggage handling and gate operations.

Langsdale also wants to provide more advanced systems to deal with emergencies, as well as simplify the "unnecessarily complex set of systems" already in operation, in order to reduce time wasting and costs.

"I recognise technology on its own cannot deliver these improvements... but it is a crucial enabler," he said.

On top of this investment, BAA also confirmed an outsourcing deal with Capgemini worth 100 million. The contract will last for five years as the company takes control of its IT services, with BAA again hoping this will reduce complexity on-site and, in the long run, cut costs.

"Because our focus is on running airports, it makes sense for costly specialist IT functions to be outsourced and our buying power means that it's much more cost effective," added Langsdale.

"We want to improve our resilience and ensure that we have the right systems in place to share the right information at the right time. Capgemini will have a key role in supporting this."

Other airports owned by BAA Stansted, Southampton, Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen are set to be supported by the new technology and will eventually run their own IT systems, which the company claimed would "improve cost and efficiency."

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