Belfast City begins digital transformation

The Northern Irish hub has completed the first phase in its new development, implementing voice search technology and a new customer service tool  

Belfast City Airport has launched a five-year digital transformation programme.  

Working with support from Tourism Northern Ireland’s ‘Embrace a Giant Spirit Digital Welcome’ fund, the first phase of the initiative has delivered an Amazon Alexa skill, implemented AirChat as well as an omnichannel customer service tool and installed the first of 20 digital screens in the terminal building.  

Belfast City Airport
Photo Belfast City Airport

“Like any modern business, digital transformation is vital to Belfast City Airport, not only for effective operations on a day-to-day basis now, but also in futureproofing the organisation for sustainable growth,” said Brian Roche, director of information technology at Belfast City Airport.  

“The creation and implementation of these digital platforms will not only benefit our inbound and outbound customers greatly and provide another layer of excellent customer service and assistance, but also proves our commitment to continually providing an airport experience that exceeds the expectations of our passengers.” 

The hub is the first in the region to introduce voice search technology and a multi-channel customer service tool.   

By implementing the Amazon Alexa, the airport hopes to challenge the issues surrounding digital accessibility by acting as a tool for those who are visually impaired or may have cognitive disabilities.  

The AirChat platform also allows users to register in real-time to receive pre-departure flight updates, with the ability for the airport to contact passengers before they reach the hub.  

The new customer-facing elements follow the inauguration of a new website for Belfast City.  

With the support of Tourism NI, the airport has been able to complete the first stage of its programme ahead of schedule.  

Dave Vincent, chief digital officer at Tourism NI, added: “As a main gateway to Northern Ireland, Belfast City Airport plays an integral role in the tourism experience of our visitors. 

“Already a central transport hub that offers a quick, safe, convenient transit, the airport’s dedication to further enhancing the passenger welcome through digital innovation is to be applauded.” 

In the next phases of the programme, the airport hopes to partner with both local and global companies within the sector to become a data-driven enterprise.