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18 Integrating Airport Information Systems Figure 3-2. Sample of the steps. the progress and results, as appropriate. From these charts, readers can quickly find their roles and concentrate on the tasks needed to help make the airport integration a success. Case Study Examples In the following sections, the steps to prepare for integration are further illustrated using a hypothetical case study to track the activities that might accompany an integration effort. Each step of the case study illustrates how a mid-sized airport might undertake to improve airline rates and charges calculations. To do this, the airport chose to integrate information that previously had been handled manually. For the sake of brevity, the case study tracks the general direction of an integration effort and only summarizes the many actions that would be needed. Case Study Introduction Angelo International Airport (AIA) is a medium-size hub airport enplaning 4.7 million passengers, with 213,000 operations annually. It is served by twelve domestic and two international carriers. AIA's use and lease agreement has an airfield residual cost center structure, while the terminal complex generally is classified as commercial compensatory in its rate-making methodology. Step 1: Define Business Objectives and Identify Information Needs Figure 3-3 indicates the level of effort of the stakeholders for this step. Define Objectives The first step in any integration process, and the most important, is for senior management to define clearly what airport goals will be furthered by this integration and what objectives manage- Figure 3-3. Step 1.

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Best Practices for Integration 19 ment wants to achieve. If the airport has already developed a vision and created a long-range inte- gration plan, then based on those priorities, the project can be scaled using a phased approach that reflects the priorities and objectives defined in the airport's business needs and objectives plan. To help define the business objectives for an integration project, management needs to iden- tify priorities in the following areas: Business. For example, is the priority to generate higher levels of revenue, provide better ser- vice to the public, or reduce duplicative staff effort? If all three are priorities for the project, identify which has the highest priority. Sensitive Areas. Review the potential for sensitive issues that require the involvement of sen- ior management. Such issues can include control of media information and the timing of such data releases, or how the integration may affect staff. Political. Determine if the political climate may affect achieving the goals of the integration and what information is required to meet political objectives. An airport authority may have different political issues than a government-owned and -operated airport. For example, a municipality may want financial information from all city departments, including the airport, to be integrated and consolidated for auditing and reporting purposes. Planning. Determine the area with the largest projection of growth and prioritize the integra- tion efforts to mirror the Master Plan. For example, an airport might be planning to gear its facilities to a more common-use environment. Identify the Need for Integration and Why For each individual integration project, it is important to start with a clear understanding of the reasons behind the integration effort. These objectives can be broad, such as "Understand the components of and reduce the cost per enplanement." However, they should be part of the airport's overall objectives. Answering the following questions can aid in reaching these objectives: What problems are we trying to solve with this integration effort? Example: the manual calculation of rates and charges. Who are going to be the primary users of the integration effort? Example: all of senior management. What tasks are the users going to perform with this system, and how often? Example: senior managers will access the data from their dashboard. Every other step of the integration process should relate directly to these business objectives. Reviewing the overall objectives periodically throughout the process will help keep the integra- tion process on track to achieve these objectives. If the objectives change, the steps may have to be repeated to achieve the new objectives. As with other initiatives, it is easy to be too ambitious with the objectives for an integration project. It can help to prioritize the objectives and recognize that it may be necessary to defer some objectives in order to accomplish the main goal in a reasonable period and at an acceptable cost. Identify Business-Critical Information After senior management has established the metrics associated with the business objectives, identify the business-critical information and key data elements necessary to calculate the met- rics. For a guide to the business-critical information and key data elements common to most air- ports, see Chapter 4, Airport Information. However, an airport's particular operations and procedures may require additional information not addressed in that chapter. To complete an airport's data needs, answer the following questions: What successes has the airport had? What data and information led to these successes? In the past, what problems have arisen because of the lack of proper data and information? What data and information are needed to prevent problems in the future?