Digital transformation brings Amazon Alexa functionality to Belfast City Airport

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George Best Belfast City Airport in Northern Ireland has launched a five-year digital transformation program following a six-figure investment.

Accelerated by support from Tourism Northern Ireland’s ‘Embrace a Giant Spirit Digital Welcome’ fund, the first phase has already introduced Amazon Alexa functionality for passengers; implemented a 24/7 customer service tool; and installed the first of a 20-screen digital wayfinding portfolio in the terminal building.

Belfast City Airport director of information technology Brian Roche said, “Like any modern business, digital transformation is vital to Belfast City Airport, not only for effective operations on a day-to-day basis now, but also in futureproofing the organization for sustainable growth.

“The creation and implementation of these digital platforms will benefit our inbound and outbound customers, greatly providing another layer of excellent customer service and assistance. It also demonstrates our commitment to continually delivering an airport experience that exceeds the expectations of our passengers.”

The airport is the first in Northern Ireland to harness voice search functionality and implement a 24/7, multi-channel customer service tool. Amazon Alexa also helps improve digital accessibility for those with visual impairments or physical, communicational or cognitive disabilities, and allows passengers of all abilities to ask their Amazon device for airport information such as live flight details, car parking, facilities and more.

Until now, passengers could only receive updates on flight information by checking the airport website. With the AirChat platform, users can register in advance for real-time, pre-departure flight updates which are then conveniently sent directly to their device via Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp and webchat.

Roche added, “Our passengers are at the heart of everything we do and convenience for our passengers is the catalyst behind our investment in these digital solutions.

“The airport is a first and last impression of Northern Ireland for visitors so we are thrilled Tourism NI recognized the opportunities to further enhance the passenger experience at Belfast City Airport and pledged its support to achieve our vision.”

Tourism NI’s support has enabled the airport to complete the first phase of its program ahead of schedule.

Tourism NI chief digital officer Dave Vincent said, “As a main gateway to Northern Ireland, Belfast City Airport plays an integral role in the tourism experience of our visitors. Already a central transport hub that offers a quick, safe, convenient transit, the airport’s dedication to further enhancing the passenger welcome through digital innovation is to be applauded.

“Its aspirations of harnessing digital tools and online platforms to better the experience of those visiting our shores align perfectly with the ethos of Tourism NI’s ‘Embrace a Giant Spirit Digital Welcome Programme’. We are therefore delighted to support this exciting, passenger-centric phase of the airport’s digital transformation program.”

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Dan originally joined Passenger Terminal World in 2014 having spent the early years of his career in the recruitment industry. As online editor, he now produces daily content for the website and supports the editor with the publication of each exciting new issue. When he’s not reporting on the latest aviation news, Dan can be found on the golf course or apprehensively planning his next DIY project.

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