NZ branch of airport software specialist drives global sales

Local subsidiary does all development for worldwide system; 100 sales achieved

An airport management software suite developed in the UK has taken off since being transferred from Gentrack’s UK operation to the New Zealand company.

The software was first developed 30 years ago, but since management brought it to New Zealand in 2001 it has been greatly enhanced.

“They had 15 customers, but we’ve got now well over 100 worldwide,” says Gentrack’s general manager airports, Nigel Farley.

“We’ve invested in extending the product into aeronautical billing and we’re now a global leader,” he says. “We’ve also developed a resource management system that allows airports to position planes, based on both seasonal and daily movements. It’s a decision support system.”

Wellington and Christchurch airports use the system, known as Airport 20/20, but the main target market is the US.

A recent sale was to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, for Newark Airport, the 23rd largest in the world. “We went live in September with stage one of a three-stage project,” Farley says. “That was the resource management part.”

JFK Terminal One, also in New York, uses the product.

Airport 20/20 is used by London City Airport, which is a long-term customer. It recently signed for the resource management and billing modules, which the airport expects to have in place in time for the 2010 Olympic Games.

“But the big one for us in Europe is Finland,” Farley says. “Our software is being used for all of their 25 airports. It runs off one set of servers in Helsinki.”

Airport 20/20 has also been sold into Africa, Australia and Pakistan. In the latter, Gentrack has a joint project with Oracle to service 42 airports.

“It’s a multi-user system,” Farley says. “All the airlines use it but they only get to see what applies to them It’s totally secure.”

Of the package's nine modules, the Common Use Passenger Processing system is yet to be released.

Farley says the product has been developed using a mix of Visual Studio and .Net. “It runs on Unix, Windows, SQL Server and Oracle, though 80 percent of our customers use SQL Server.

The company has support offices in New Zealand, the US and the UK, though all the development work is done in New Zealand.