ADB SAFEGATE has signed a deal to buy Ultra Airport Systems (AS), the UK-based provider of airport IT and data analytics solutions.

The transaction will expand ADB SAFEGATE’s expertise and accelerate its transformation into a Total Airport Management (TAM) solution provider.

With air traffic doubling every 15 years*, ADB SAFEGATE provides support to airports to use existing infrastructure more efficiently through adding essential capacity and focusing operations on the passenger experience. A key pillar is advanced analytics which applies artificial intelligence technologies to an airport’s existing data, as well as new data from enhanced airfield, gate and tower systems.

By introducing greater integration and automation of systems across the airport, developing smarter solutions with added data gathering capabilities, and creating advanced analytics capabilities, ADB SAFEGATE is well placed to help airports continuously improve their efficiency.

With this acquisition, ADB SAFEGATE will incorporate and further develop Ultra AS’s wide range of solutions covering many airport and airline processes relating to operational performance, flight information displays, billing, baggage management and situational awareness.

This will align with ADB SAFEGATE’s current services and capabilities, creating a solid foundation for a powerful, advanced analytics customer proposition.

Ultra AS’s experienced sales team will bring important software and services sales skills helping ADB SAFEGATE to sell its Airport Performance capabilities to new customers. ADB SAFEGATE will also acquire additional IT expertise, enabling more effective support for airports, airlines and ANSPs with advanced analytics ambitions.

“Advanced data analytics is a proven capability in many commercial sectors, but has yet to be deployed widely at airports. The potential for this technology is significant and acknowledged across the sector. Over 50% of airports and airlines we speak with are planning to invest in advanced analytics over the next five years,” explains Christian Onselaere, CEO of ADB SAFEGATE. “As well as combining Ultra AS’s airport systems expertise and experience with ADB SAFEGATE’s airport performance approach, we have set up a dedicated new TAM business unit to develop advanced analytics solutions. We have a real opportunity to become a leader in this exciting field.”

“About 150 airports and 100 airlines currently use Ultra AS software. We are confident these numbers will rise as ADB SAFEGATE, which works with more than 2,500 airports in 175 countries, helps the team extend its global reach. Through this transaction, we will join a large, aviation-focused group with strong financial backing creating many new opportunities to support our customers worldwide,” says Sébastien Jodeau, Ultra AS managing director.

Assuming satisfaction of all closing conditions, the transaction is expected to complete by January 31, 2019. Current Ultra AS offices in the UK, France, South Africa, USA and China will join ADB SAFEGATE’s other 35+ offices around the world, from where more than 1,100 employees work.

*Source: Airbus Global Market Forecast 2017-2037.