London City Airport Chief Operating Officer Alison FitzGerald said that the aviation industry is ripe for innovation and that her main current focus is on growth and improving the passenger experience.

A high-flyer in the 2017 CIO 100, FitzGerald was appointed CIO of the airport in January 2014 before taking on the COO role in October 2016. [See also: From CIO to COO - The Chief Operating Officers overseeing technology and IT as CIOs]

Speaking with CIO UK contributor Scott Carey and during a panel discussion at the 2017 CIO 100 celebration reception, FitzGerald said that maintaining and improving the speed of passenger journeys was a priority, and that there were plenty of opportunities for disruption and innovation by working backwards from business challenges.

"The aviation sector is ripe for innovation," she said. "There is a great opportunity for disruption.

"We don't really talk about technology, we talk about business challenges: how we process our passengers more efficiently, how do we improve the passenger experience, how do we improve our aircraft turnaround times? The opportunities are huge."

FitzGerald said that a major £370 million technology transformation has set the foundations for airport growth and its innovation agenda.

Last week it was announced London City Airport was building a 50-metre tower populated by HD cameras, which would supply images to the NATS digital air traffic control tower in Hampshire from where flights would be monitored and managed.

FitzGerald said that the flagship multi-million pound invest was a key piece of infrastructure which would enhance safety and improve resilience, setting a new standard for the global aviation industry to follow.