Emiliano Sorrenti

Chief Information Officer, Aeroporti di Roma

Supernova Award Category: 
Data to Decisions
The Organization: 

Aeroporti di Roma (AdR) manages and develops the Fiumicino and Ciampino airports in Rome, Italy. AdR serves over 50M passengers with over 240 destinations worldwide, thanks to the 100 airlines operating at the airports. Fiumicino is dedicated to business and leisure customers traveling on national, international, and intercontinental routes; Ciampino is used by low-cost and express airlines. AdR is the top airport operator in Italy by number of passengers and the seventh largest in Europe.

The Problem: 

Airports are increasingly considered more than just stepping stones in the travel journey, with abundant, dynamic, real-time data permeating every aspect of airport operations and the traveler journey. Flights, gates, schedules and gate agents must be coordinated; security staff managed; the influx of passengers and general facility access for business operations must be organized; weather disruptions dealt with; parking facilities and intra-airport transportation systems run smoothly; check-in staff, logistics, baggage and security services synchronized.

It takes thousands of employees and insight into real-time data gathered throughout the traveler journey to pull it all off with as little delay as possible. Further, passengers today demand a digitally connected travel experience, meaning booking, ticketing, check-in, flight status notifications, gate change alerts, baggage tracking and guidance on various airport amenities is accessible on a mobile phone.

The ability to see, manage and optimize these events presents complex and interdependent data integration, unification and analytic challenges for airports and airlines. All of this must work together to harness the value of all the available data to proactively manage the passenger experience and make travel less of a burden. AdR sought to resolve this problem and make travel more of a delightful adventure that translates into increased revenue by increasing passenger satisfaction and business opportunities.

The Solution: 

AdR leveraged the TIBCO Connected Intelligence platform to gain control of its expansive data universe and to better align technologies, business processes, and people to deliver innovative, efficient, high-quality services throughout its ecosystem. 

With TIBCO at its core, AdR launched its Airport Operations Plan to centralize operational data and provide awareness of everything happening. With backend systems integrated, the power of real-time data is maximized through interactive visual analytic dashboards, allowing all relevant stakeholders to make faster, better decisions. The platform correlates all information for all stakeholders, including airlines, handlers, security, air traffic control, ground control, facilities, and others to better manage both air-side and land-side processes. This streamlines and automates services throughout the two airports. With its new plan, AdR unlocked the value of real-time data to grow its leadership as a top-rated airport.

The Results: 

Prior to the transformation, AdR received feedback that the passenger experience was not meeting expectations. According to Skytrax, AdR scored a 3.3 out of 5, placing them below its competitors.

To be the leading global airport they envisioned, AdR knew they had some work to do. They needed a digital platform to deliver efficient and high-quality services to passengers, retailers, and its airport ecosystem. AdR needed to reinvent itself as its own smart city, achieve operational excellence, and increase intimacy with passengers.

Through data integration and enhanced visibility into customer behaviors, TIBCO Connected Intelligence delivered real-time visibility into the entire airport ecosystem, enabling AdR to retake control of its operations and passengers’ experiences.

AdR used real-time passenger heat maps to scale up services needed to prevent long lines, while also illuminating shopping patterns to help the airport enhance retail business. AdR optimized all the stakeholders and processes that go into shaping a good passenger experience with an intelligent control room, allowing the airport to prevent issues before they unfold into larger problems.

With a focus on customer intimacy and improving operations, AdR is now equipped to facilitate smooth growth and expansion, setting itself up for success in the years to come. AdR is now the leading airport in its class: it was named the best airport in Europe for the last 4 consecutive years by ACI.


Prior to the implementation of the Airport Operations Plan, AdR lacked a single view of its airport operations. Travelers experienced long security lines; potential flight disruptions and service delays could rarely be predicted; and fixes were reactive. Passenger satisfaction at AdR was declining. With increasing passenger expectations and intense competitive pressures, AdR turned to TIBCO to revamp its airport experience and increase overall satisfaction.

AdR successfully connected the traveler experience across the airport ecosystem by shifting to proactive operations and focusing on real-time situational awareness. For example, AdR used passenger flow analysis to decide where to put restrooms, dining, and security, depending on the time passengers spend in various areas to optimize their experience from the minute they step into the airport.

AdR’s data-centric operations became even more vital during the COVID-19 pandemic when travel slowed down dramatically. The airport focused on increasing safety while still keeping customer needs in mind for seamless and hassle-free travel. Thermal scanning was quickly introduced within the airport, in addition to dedicated testing areas to ensure safe passage in and out of Rome. As a result of its transformation, AdR added a new boarding area allowing it to handle over 6 million additional passengers per year, and was the first airport awarded a 5-star COVID-19 safety rating globally.

The Technology: 

AdR began its transformation with TIBCO Connected Intelligence, which includes cloud integration, streaming and visual analytics, data science, event processing, and messaging capabilities. The platform adapts to customers’ connected business by seamlessly connecting real-time data from any data source or application, intelligently unifying data to provide greater access and control, and allowing customers to confidently predict outcomes in real time with powerful, scalable analytics.

Disruptive Factor: 

Many people underestimate how abundant, dynamic, real-time data permeates every aspect of airport operations. AdR was challenged with pulling insight from the real-time data generated throughout the traveler journey, while creating a digitally connected passenger experience and increasing overall revenue.

Utilizing TIBCO's Connected Intelligence platform, AdR connected thousands of data sources on an enterprise scale to integrate and correlate all information to understand customer behaviors, manage operational situations, and prevent critical events. Equipped with a real-time view into passenger behaviors, AdR can better manage both air-side and land-side processes. For instance, passenger movements are analyzed all the way up to the gates so AdR can correlate passenger flow with flight data, and even compare it to boarding pass information presented in retail shops.

By analyzing correlated data, AdR activates predictive analysis and can study trends to identify future process improvements. Airport staff act on critical information and APIs from third-party airport partners to stay informed on operational status and determine which areas of the airport should stay open and which should close for maximum safety, customer satisfaction, and operating efficiency. These analyses led AdR to reduce nearly 40% of its day-to-day operating costs while continuing to provide a high-quality passenger experience during the pandemic.

Shining Moment: 

AdR’s Fiumicino Airport won ACI's “Airport Service Quality Award” for 2021, its 5th consecutive award win. Based on the airport's determination to be a sustainable and innovative primary smart hub, Fiumicino ranked 1st overall across major European airports serving over 40M passengers. AdR was included in ACI's “Director General’s Roll of Excellence” for 2022, joining an exclusive list of only 64 airports out of 18,000 existing airports globally.

About Aeroporti di Roma

Aeroporti di Roma manages and develops the Fiumicino and Ciampino airports in Rome, Italy. AdR serves over 50M passengers to over 240 destinations worldwide, thanks to the 100 airlines operating at the airports. In 2022, ACI awarded Fiumicino the "Airport Service Quality 2021" as Europe's most popular airport among hubs with more than 40M passengers, for the fifth year in a row.