Much of Amadeus’s cloud computing work is
focused on airports, and Raven said it has a side beneft.
“It reduces energy costs and CO2 emissions,” he said.
And by allowing airlines to share physical space and
IT resources “airports are able to free up more space for
initiatives that can drive revenue growth, such as com-
mercial or retail ventures.”
Te increase of self-service and ability to check-in
passengers remotely also helps to reduce the impact on
passengers and airlines in cases of disruption, he said, as
well as cutting down queues and waiting times to create
a smoother passenger processing fow and improve the
Another example of the benefts of the cloud in
the airport environment is London Gatwick’s use of
Amadeus’ cloud-based A-CDM Portal, Raven said. Te
portal provides aggregated views of the status of airport
operational activities to airports, airlines and ground
“Tis increased transparency leads to better col-
laboration decision-making processes, and the real-time
accurate data allows users to identify potential disrup-
tion, reduce delays and optimize existing operations to
For Dana Knight, VP Americas at Merlot Aero in
Scottsdale, Ariz., “infrastructure” is the key word in the
growing popularity of the Cloud. As in, you don’t need
it so much.
“Every airline customer has some sort of disaster
recovery center ofsite, a completely redundant fight
operations setup somewhere else,” he said.
Te alternate site is usually about three to fve miles
from the airport, he said. And the redundancy can be
expensive. Not only does the airline need hardware and
software, it needs desks and chairs and everything else a
work environment requires.
With deployment of Merlot’s Cloud solutions, “if
your primary fight ops center is on fre, you can go out
to the parking lot and continue to do your job,” Knight
said. All the development was done so that it can be deployed locally. All that is required is an Internet-enabled
device, an Internet connection and a browser.
“You don’t have to have a heavy-duty notebook
because everything is stored on a server that is not tied
to a particular device anymore,” Knight said.
Airlines have to plan for worst case scenarios, he said.
“When you need the horsepower, it will bog down.
Te Cloud automatically spools up what you need, and
when the job is done, it goes back down.”
Any time data is stored in a remote location, the is-
sue of security comes up.
“You always have to be concerned about it,” Knight
said. “Nothing is ever 1,000%, but we have dedicated
URLs and a lot of internal security.”
Raven noted that the Cloud is prevalent in indus-
tries with critical operations such as banking, the stock
market and retail.
“Tere is a general concern that when a server is
not in a nearby physical location, you lose privacy, a
misconception which may stem from the popularity of
cloud services which are public by design, such as Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud,” he said.
“While it is fne for non-critically sensitive informa-
tion—such as fight schedules—to be hosted on these
platforms, private clouds that ofer dedicated IT infra-
structures to their users with complete data separation,
dedicated security and stringent Service Level Agree-
ments, are used for critical processes.”
Moving to the Cloud does not mean an increased
risk of a security breach, Raven said. “Companies ofer-
ing cloud computing in a purpose-built center generally
provide frewalls, security codes and other practices to
mitigate the risk of a breach. Te redundancy intrinsic
in today’s Cloud systems allows Cloud providers the
option of creating logical redundancy—using diferent
layers of defense against cyber-attacks.”
Having a dedicated staf with Cloud expertise also
means there are more resources to keep up-to-date on
the latest security technologies and resolve issues much
quicker than with onsite systems, he said.