International airport Schiphol builds open
Albert van Veen, CIO of Schiphol Group, announces that the international airport is going to build an open API platform. The announcement is made just a week after the successful airport hackathon Hack & Fly organized by Schiphol and Aéroports de Paris.
Van Veen says that an open data philosophy is necessary for building the future airport in an interview, to be published Friday June 19, with Dutch tech magazine Emerce. “Consider the API-management platform as a kind of shop. It will easily attract programmers.”
The idea of attracting a large and diverse group of programmers is that they will use the Schiphol API to built innovative services faster and on larger scale as the API is available 24/7. Another important benefit is that the developers might come with great ideas the airport might never think of itself.
Schiphol IT managers should lead and not follow Van Veen argues. “A large number of companies will not exist in a couple of years if we don’t decide to take the lead” he says. “We can and should deliver the Apples and Googles of the future. We have to step forward and take the lead in our conversations with our boards and talk to them not form the technological perspective, but an angle they always understand: business.”
Hack & Fly, co-organized by Node1 gave the airport a hands-on experience of the potential of open innovation. The workshop was open to all developers (either teams and individuals) that wanted to experiment with Flight data. 130 developers participated in Amsterdam, with another 120 in Paris. On Friday, teams were created and business managers from Schiphol presented business challenges for which they wanted solutions. From then on the teams worked round the clock to build a working prototype. Technical staff from Schiphol, Node1, ArcGIS, SITA and other data suppliers were present to help the participants with technical challenges. Sunday afternoon, all teams presented their results in front of a local jury. The jury, led by Schiphol CFO Els de Groot, was impressed with the quality and diversity of the pitches.
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