Airport Operational Database – The heart of an airport


There is no doubt that data and analytics are game changers for the aviation sector. Given that airports are the most influential hubs for air travel, advanced data analytics have proven to increase operational efficiencies, enabling airports to plan more intelligently.

One major shift which has been adopted by a substantial majority of airports globally has been the need for an AODB (Airport Operational Database). This database is the heart of an airport and considered to be a highly flexible central repository for the management of airport operations.

In the following blog, we explore the fundamentals of what an AODB is, why an AODB is crucial for aviation and how it helps streamline airport processes, assets and finances, and resource allocation and billing. To start, let us look at the major types of airport operations.

An overview on airport operations

There are four main types of airport operations which can be divided as follows:

1. Landside operations – Here, airport personnel working in landside operations have a customer-serviced role where they oversee the terminals – concourses, roadways, and property surrounding the airport.[1]

Landside operations are critical to what passenger’s experience throughout their airport journey. This includes passenger operations such as baggage handling and tagging. Furthermore, terminal operations fall into this category, comprising resource allocation and staff management.

2. Airside operations – This area includes the overall safety and security of the airport, landing and navigation, and airport traffic management.

3. Billing and invoicing – This contains both aviation and non-aviation income, including everything from monetary transactions to luggage hauling expenses.

4. Flight management – Pertains to relationships with airlines for the collection and distribution of seasonal and arrival/departure data storage, along with daily flight data.

In essence, the AODB serves to optimize the above operational areas. Let us take a closer look at an AODB system.

What is an AODB?

An Airport Operational Database (AODB) is the hub of all airport operations and connects all IT systems throughout an airport. At its foundation, an AODB is an information-rich tool which provides all flight related data in real-time and facilitates the integration and control of various airport systems. As a result, airports and airline staff can operate with more autonomy, while possessing the confidence they need with rapid and reliable information.

With Embross’ uniquely organized AODB, airport personnel can better communicate with all flight related data (movements, flight times, passengers, luggage, cargo, etc.) from flight schedules to allocated resources. The processing and management of this data allows airports to follow the flight process from start to finish.

In light of this, let us take a closer look at what makes an AODB so crucial.

Features of an AODB

The features of an AODB include:

– Real-time data – allows airports to accurately process and update large volumes of data.

– Integration with other airport systems – ensures all systems can communicate and share data, promoting seamless airport operations.

– Validation of data – the accuracy and reliability of airport operations depends heavily on this feature.

– Reporting and analytics – from generating statutory reports to customizing analytical insights, AODB provides airports the tools to better understand their operational performance.

– Resource optimization – from scheduling to asset allocation, AODB can make sure that resources are used where they are most needed.


AODB’s importance for the aviation world

Imagine an airport using several different systems, with each of them relying on their own specialized data sets. This would have a high probability with numerous inefficiencies, delays, and financial losses which may be brought by distributed data[2]. The AODB was designed to extract meaningful insights from data and avoid any pitfalls associated with centralizing an airport’s data sources. Thus, having access to real-time data is crucial for airport operators. Using advanced analytics on operational data from airside and landside operations, airport systems can transcend beyond standard decision-making practices.

Enhancing collaborative decision making

Collaborative Decision Making (CDM) has been a vital part of airport operations for many years. The use of AODB represents a significant evolution in this area. CDM promotes transparency and fosters effective information exchange among all the operational elements of an airport – air traffic controllers, airlines, and ground services to name a few.

This seamless and timely transfer of data between several stakeholders helps with informed and coordinated decision-making, thus reducing the chance of conflicts or misunderstandings. A key question – how does this influence the real-time operation?

Enabling Real-Time Predictability

AODB is not about storing and distributing data; it is much more versatile. With advanced analytics, AODB has the ability to process and interpret data in real-time, providing situational awareness. This capability translates into real-time predictions, empowering airport operational teams to improve flight efficiency and minimize potential delays.

For example, if a flight is delayed, the system can rapidly compute the knock-on effects, enabling airport staff to better manage gate assignments, rescheduling ground services, or passenger information. But how can AODB help with future decisions?

Enabling Predictive Analytics

When it comes to predictive analytics, AODB can support this space by leveraging historical and real-time data collected through various channels. By examining past patterns and trends, predictive analytics can forecast future occurrences. This capability is instrumental in planning activities such as resource allocation, managing peak periods, and even predicting potential disruptions, thus aiding airports in proactive decision-making.

Managing your airport operations with Embross AODB

Airports face the daunting task of managing complex systems that make up their operations, from seasonal flight schedules to resource management and finances. Understanding that airports can rest assured concerning the comprehensive support of all these facets is undoubtedly crucial, and rightly so.

The next generation of AODB and FMS (Flight Management System) by Embross is the result of more than 25 years of experience in airport management and as such it meets the highest requirements in terms of:

  • Secure data protection from unauthorized access
  • Openness, by providing secure REST APIs
  • Data privacy with respect to GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) compliance
  • Manual and automated management of data through FMS


Leveraging AODB equips airports with a tool which not only advances current operational efficiency but also provides a platform for future planning and problem resolution. When harnessed and analyzed, AODB demonstrates that data is a powerful resource that can transport airport operations with enhanced decision-making, enabling real-time predictability, and supporting predictive analytics. Whatever the future demands of the aviation industry may be, AODB is poised to meet them head-on.

Connect with us to learn more about how AODB can benefit you.

Embross offers border agencies, government authorities and airports a complete portfolio of solutions that help secure, automate, and facilitate border and passenger management. If you would like to learn more, please contact a member of our expert team:





Omar Abbasi, Marketing Manager at Embross