Cranfield University’s Centre for Air Transport Management has been awarded two million NOK (just under £200,000) in funding from the Research Council of Norway, to improve the customer experience at Norwegian airports.

The team will assess the impact of digital technologies on the passenger journey to improve the customer experience and the efficiency and effectiveness of the Norwegian airport systems. They will evaluate the door-to-door passenger journey combining different modes of ground transport and define the needs and ‘pain points’ of passengers. The project will also look at the costs and benefits of technology implementation, and formulate decision-making processes and digital solutions to ensure more resilient airport systems. Finally, it will identify regulatory and ethical issues and promote the ethical implementation of digital aviation technology. 

The project group, led by Kristiania University College in partnership with Cranfield University, Molde University College and Avinor, the state-owned limited company that operates most of the civil airports in Norway, will receive a total of 7m NOK. 

Professor Graham Braithwaite, Cranfield’s Director of Transport Systems, commenting on the award said: “This is great news for the Centre for Air Transport Management. Cranfield is internationally recognised for aviation teaching and research; it is absolutely at the heart of what we do as an institution. The application of digital technologies into aviation is a major focus for the global aviation agenda”.

The Cranfield team, led by Dr Pere Suau-Sanchez, Senior Lecturer, and Lecturer Dr Thomas Budd, will focus on developing measurements of digital capabilities, creating passenger surveys and focus groups and analysing the value of technology implementation to improve the wellbeing of passengers. They will also develop scenarios to assess how digital technology can support in an emergency or disruption situation.

The digitalisation of transport research has traditionally provided a quantitative perspective that is systems orientated, but this project will add the key qualitative dimensions of management, organisation and passenger welfare. It will help passengers to make time savings in their door-to-door multimodal journeys by making use of smart technology and help airports to design terminal facilities that reduce passenger stress.p

The results of this project will devise clear processes to help passengers take advantage of social media and digital technologies in case of disruptions, which is particularly relevant for weather events or industrial action.

Professor Keith Mason, Head of Cranfield’s Centre for Air Transport Management, said: “This award will reinforce the University’s ties with overseas universities and large industrial leaders in the airport industry. Working in partnership with Avinor, is a good example of the international businesses that Cranfield regularly collaborate with”.

Oslo railway station
Oslo station

About Cranfield University

Cranfield University is a specialist postgraduate university that is a global leader for education and transformational research in technology and management.