The airport digitalization market is a growth market estimated to generate more than $8.52 billion in revenue by 2030. A highly fragmented market, the top five companies contributed approximately 55% to the global revenue market in 2020. This figure is not expected to change significantly over the forecast period (2021–2030). The top companies in this market by estimated revenue include SITA, ADB Safegate, and Amadeus.

The aviation industry was severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, with overall 50% reduced capacity, 60% drop in passenger numbers, and $125 billion loss in airport revenues in 2020. Domestic traffic, however, is expected to show greater resilience than international traffic in the short and medium term. How quickly airports and airlines can recover from the pandemic is critical to the market growth. The increasing pace of vaccination globally will also have a positive effect on the market, but passenger traffic is expected to achieve pre-pandemic levels only by 2024.

Airports now accept that investment in physical infrastructure has its limitations and are turning to technology and process automation investments, resulting in higher digitalization adoption rates. The COVID-19 pandemic has affected airport revenues significantly, forcing airports to rethink their business continuity strategies and seek additional revenue streams to mitigate the risks of similar unexpected events in the future. As such, the focus on cargo and non-aeronautical revenues is gradually increasing, while technology investment has taken the front seat to cater to the need for contactless and safe travel.

Pent-up demand for aviation will pave the way to recovery for domestic traffic followed by international traffic. Regions such as North America and Asia-Pacific with high domestic passenger traffic potential are expected to lead in the recovery process, but international transit hubs recovery to 2019 levels will face delays. Enhanced collaborations between stakeholders is projected to drive industry investments for the next 5 years. Multimodal solutions that can integrate ground and air transport are appealing to airports, while information technology (IT) solutions that provide end-to-end travel ownership of the passenger experience will drive digitalization. Digital solutions integrating online and offline sales channels can lead to augmented spending and help enhance non-aeronautical revenues and the passenger experience to attract investments. Similarly, airports are expected to also consider total airport management solutions that help integrate stakeholders into a single value chain to drive predictive decision-making and holistic airport management. With digital technologies and data analytics on the rise, performance-based airport operations management is the future.