Schiphol Group, the owner and operator of Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, is making its data and functionality available to the developer community. According to CIO Albert van Veen, the market — i.e. developers and users of mobile apps — is better capable of serving the multiplicity of customer needs.
In an interview with the Dutch trade magazine 'Automatisering Gids', Van Veen expresses the hope that open data and an open programming interface (API) will create the breeding ground for an ecosystem of information entrepreneurs. The focus of Schiphol's IT department will be limited to their own infrastructure, the technology for travellers, and making relevant and current data available to third parties. A public API will be available later this year.
As chairman of the ACRIS workgroup, ACI's Airport Community Recommended Information Services, Van Veen is able to promote the concepts of open innovation to his international colleagues. In order to enable developers to build apps that support multiple airports, operators will have to come up with a standard to make information and functionality available.
According to Van Veen, ACRIS is also the platform through which hackathons found their way to the international airport community. Last June, Schiphol and Paris Charles de Gaulle Airports jointly organised their first hackathon named 'Hack&Fly'. A handful of other airports in Europe, the United States and Asia have shown interest in organising an international airport hackathon at the beginning of next year.