"For me there is huge untapped potential for technology to bring together all the many participants in the aviation supply chain — airlines, airports, security authorities, regulators — to make a passenger's journey more seamless and less stressful. That is where we need to be working together at an industry level, through bodies such as the International Air Transport Authority and the International Civil Aviation Organisation," he adds.
[Breakout box] Flying in the cloud QAL's Nelson decided this year to back up its major corporate systems — SharePoint, Exchange and the finance and payroll systems — almost in real time to a disaster recovery centre in the cloud.
"We push about 1.2 terabytes out a month in synchronisation," he says. "Our production systems and our DR [disaster recovery] site is synchronised within 10 seconds of each other."
QAL used to have its data hosted onsite at Gold Coast Airport, with its production systems located on the same site of its disaster recovery solution. This presented too much risk, Nelson says, and it was estimated that the old DR solution, based on Quest vRanger, would take up to 24 hours to restore the data. So he worked with Queensland airport's existing IT support provider Idea11 to host QAL's data offsite.
Nelson has also developed a cloud-based system for its airport staff and visitor security information to comply with Commonwealth government regulation. The system manages identification visitor logs of the airport such as aircraft training schools and catering companies that are contracted by the airlines.
"Our four airports can all work off that single system in the cloud without having to have four separate installations for it," he says.
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