Heathrow Airport operator BAA has awarded a long-term outsourcing contract to Capgemini that is expected to mean two thirds of its IT positions moving over to the consultancy.

BAA CIO Philip Langsdale told CIO UK that the decision was made after an 18-month selection process.

Langsdale said: “The successful candidate had to show a strong commitment to service improvement along with an equally strong commitment cost reduction, so it’s about getting more for less.”

The company is in the process of bringing a number of IT programmes on line, with an investment of over £120m over the next three years, including an upgrade to its Oracle ERP system and an improved baggage handling system in Terminal three at Heathrow.

One of the challenges Capgemini will have to rise to is to prepare the company’s enterprise systems for the possibility of another airport demerger, similar to the selling off of Gatwick in 2009.

Langsdale said: “It’s a long-term relationship to support our change programme. One aspect will be to help disaggregate the IT across the airports run by BAA. We work closely with lots of airlines and retailers at our airports and we will also be working with Capgemini to see whether we can resell IT services to them.”

The details of the exact length and value of the contract were not disclosed.