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August 05, 2014

Gatwick Airport Moving Ops to the Cloud Highlights Cloud Testing

For many frequent fliers to the U.K., London Gatwick Airport is the point of entry.  Located 28 miles south of London, London Gatwick is the U.K.’s second largest airport and the most efficient single-runway airport in the world. It serves around 200 destinations in 90 countries for 36 million passengers a year on short and long haul point-to-point services.  Given the number of passengers it accommodates on its single runway, operational efficiency is a top priority. In fact, while a hallmark of the airport, it is constantly innovating to improve its operations and has turned to the cloud for tools to accomplish the task. 

What everyone knows from the headlines about leveraging the cloud is that getting it right can be a challenge. This is true for all businesses, but is obviously particularly important when it comes to air transportation where logistics and public safety are at a premium. For this reason, the announcement that London Gatwick has turned to cloud and mobile testing solutions provider SOASTA and its CloudTest platform to support a ground-breaking project that is poised to accelerate collaborative working and drive further efficiencies at the airport is noteworthy.

The initiative will enable Gatwick to share information with airlines and ground services to increase aircraft turnaround times and improve overall customer experience. As noted in the announcement, this is part of an on-going effort by Gatwick to achieve greater economies of scale through an adoption of cloud technology and comes at a time of fierce debate about an additional runway for the South East of England.

Up in the air with tested cloud

The new project uses a cloud service to access and share data between trusted partners across the airport and beyond. SOASTA’s (News - Alert) CloudTest platform is being used to validate and verify the scope and scale of the initiative and help fine-tune the project as it progresses.

“Gatwick’s success is built on our willingness to innovative and to try things that haven’t been done before. The current project is no exception but its success lies in having a dedicated set of partners to bring it to life. SOASTA is a partner that shares our approach to challenging the established view and creating a new paradigm. SOASTA’s CloudTest platform allows us to test capacity and robustness as the project takes shape.  “We are able to test with a degree of precision and accuracy that delivers measurable and actionable data within a very demanding timeframe,” said Michael Ibbitson, CIO Gatwick Airport.

“Gatwick is leading the charge towards embracing cloud-based services that ultimately will revolutionise passenger experience. The innovation lies not merely in what Gatwick is seeking to accomplish at the airport but also with the foundation that it is creating for a collaborative system of working with airlines and other airport partners.  Cloud-based services lie at the heart of this innovation and it is the scope and scale of cloud-based technologies that makes this vision possible. SOASTA’s partnership with Gatwick is based on our proven technical prowess as well as our willingness and ability to embrace new ideas and approaches.  Gatwick’s deployment of CloudTest is more than just load and performance testing, it’s delivering the confidence and reassurance behind the vision by ensuring the integrity and reliability of the initiative,” said Tim Bisley, VP & MD EMEA, SOASTA

As cited above, the Gatwick investment in SOASTA CloudTest platform is part of the airport’s push toward relying more heavily on cloud-based services designed to enhance passenger experiences and ultimately improve service levels and standards at the airport. As a result of Gatwick having to innovate because of having only one runway, this is likely to be a project that draws significant interest from airports around the world.  

There is an old Russian proverb that became a favorite of former U.S. President Ronald Reagan, “Trust but verify.” When it comes to the cloud, those are words that should resonate regardless of what market your organization serves. 


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