Never before has the world seemed so small and the pace of change and innovation continues to increase at an unprecedented rate. More people than ever before are traveling further for work, both nationally and internationally. Higher levels of service are expected from transport providers, be that road, rail or air, and the numbers of people availing themselves of these services are on the up. Coupled with environmental concerns, increasing fuel costs and higher passenger numbers there is a need for a new way of thinking when it comes to infrastructure and transportation. We work with our clients to bring the latest thinking in terms of data analytics, digital technology, customer experience, workplace layout, and intelligent operational excellence in order to quickly help solve the problems of today whilst building the transportation systems of the future.
Airports Need To Evolve
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) expects 7.8 billion passengers to travel in 2036. That is a doubling of the 4 billion who expect to travel in 2019. While great for innovation and general prosperity, this will provide huge challenges for governments and the industry to meet this demand
Planning for growth will require partnerships to be strengthened between governments, airports, airline operators and communities to not only expand and modernize infrastructure, but also to look at how airports fundamentally operate
Customer now have choice. As more routes open up, they can now ask; do they want to have a layover at an airport where there is poor or few opportunities to shop, the restaurant selection is limited, rest or quiet areas are non-existent, the lounges are few or always crowded and security lines are always long and slow?
Paradoxically, the passenger experience is getting poorer. Wait times at airports are rising, some flights are now longer to save on operating costs and evolving security measures are causing delays
Increasing capacity through large, capital infrastructure programs is expensive and slow. More and more time is now required to address environmental concerns of airport expansion
Today, airports exist to accommodate air travel infrastructure; security, passenger ticketing, baggage, ground transport, with primary concerns being safety and minimal overheads for their tenant airlines
In the future, the entire airport eco-system needs to change in order to meet this increasing demand while delivering the basic traveller desire of easy arrival and check-in, speedy security processing, and comfort while waiting
To close, airports need to increase operational effectiveness, maximize non-aviation revenue, improve passenger experience and balance this with improved security effectiveness. While simultaneously changing the view of them being transient spaces - areas you move through, to areas where you want to be in
Delivering The Airport Eco—System Is Challenging...
The Solution Is About Addressing Flow
By optimizing passenger flow, airports will not only increase capacity, but also radically change the passenger experience.
Some specific examples of how technology will drive flow:
AI for translation, personal signage, up-to-date multiple language communication, personal translation services, lounge shopping, home delivery for retail products and real-time, passenger feedback
Smartphones will be used to map personal journeys inside airport. Doing so will enable apps to suggest routes, provide shopping and entertainment based on personal-preferences
Self Service technologies will continue to evolve with more processing handled ‘off-airport’, This will include security clearance, remotely using face-recognition and biometrics
iBeacons, are becoming increasingly common. These will drive personal travel assistant technology to help passengers with visual directions, real-time flight information, bespoke, push-notice passenger information about flights, delays and wait time
2nd generation CUSS and RFID technology will deliver improved off-site check-in and bag-drop, and automated passport control
Positive boarding systems to will track passengers to airside areas to help improve security, efficiency and on-time performance
Biometric technologies will challenge the current way we approach the airport. For passengers happy to adopt a do-it-all approach, departures will be fully automated
Cloud computing will join-up all stakeholders and address the issue of data sharing