If 2021 has shown us anything, airports can adapt to change and overcome the challenges posed by the Covid-19 epidemic by implementing new technology, cleaning standards, and passenger processing. With the new year upon us, what changes can we expect to see in airports worldwide in 2022?
1. LUGGAGE TRANSPORTATION
Hundreds of travellers inspect their luggage before boarding their flight to their final destination. When passengers drop their bags at the luggage drop, the bags are handled by agents at the drop area. The luggage is then delivered to ground personnel, who put them onto the plane. The ground crew also unloads all suitcases and transports them to the baggage claim at the final destination.
This hand-changing poses a risk of human error and harmful ergonomic working circumstances. However, automated airport technology can help airport automation systems for luggage transportation and could assist in resolving such challenges. The technology also brings automation in baggage processing, baggage track and trace, and ground handling for a faster turnaround to simplify passenger processing and flow.
According to experts, adopting automation strategies for luggage handling will help speed up the process, decrease human mistakes and baggage damage, and increase ground staff safety.
The autonomous baggage handling system used at The Hague Airport in the Netherlands and Hong Kong International Airport is one of the best examples of this innovation. Autonomous cars collect luggage directly from passengers and safely transport each piece of luggage to its final destination on the relevant airplane. In 2019, Dallas International Airport also implemented a mechanism to assist with luggage transfers in their international terminal. Solutions like this will only become more prevalent in the following months and years.
2. BIOMETRICS/FACIAL RECOGNITION
Biometrics and facial recognition make it easier for travelers to check in at airports by expediting security, customs, and boarding. Biometric technology eliminates the requirement for travelers to provide identification and boarding tickets, speeding up the security and boarding process. It is currently being utilized at baggage drops after being successfully implemented at security checkpoints.
Several airlines have used biometrics since 2019. British Airways has experienced success at Heathrow, Orlando, and JFK airports. Significantly, Delta Terminal F at Atlanta International Airport was the first biometric terminal in the United States.
Over three million UK passengers have used facial recognition technology on domestic flights, and a quarter-million have used it on international flights from the US to the UK.
3. UV CLEANING TECHNOLOGY
Even before COVID-19, airports, and airplanes were a breeding ground for bacteria and viruses due to the high volume of passengers passing through each day.
Multiple trials, including one at South Korea’s Incheon International Airport, suggest UV lamps can help inactivate several contagious viruses and bacteria when utilized correctly.
Some airlines utilize UV cleaning on their aircraft, while some airports use UV lighting in their cleaning robots or other cleaning systems. Qatar Airways is a pioneer in UV cleaning, installing six UV cabin cleaning systems by 2020.
Pittsburgh International Airport was the first in the United States to test UV lamps on cleaning robots. The lights help clean the airport floor, making it safer for passengers.
4. DIGITAL ADVERTISING
Both advertising and announcements are essential components of an airport’s environment. However, announcements might be drowned out by noise, and advertising can be costly.
Digital advertising is the future of airport signage. Instead of printing hundreds of signs throughout the airport, digital ads are more appealing and cost less. You may save money while making money with digital advertising. These advertising services allow businesses to advertise directly on airport TVs. Airports may easily show third-party ads with flight information, boarding calls, and public safety announcements using this “digital signage.”
5. DIGITAL PARKING
New parking options are crucial as travelers return to airports. According to a McKinsey report, car ownership exploded in 2020, and the trend isn’t slowing down.
Digital parking solutions are becoming more popular, and experts believe they will eventually become the norm. Considering that parking accounts for 58% of all non-aeronautical airport revenue, you can see why parking innovations are crucial to an airport’s bottom line.
Many airports still use traditional paper parking stubs, which are easily misplaced and necessitate face-to-face communication. By delivering a seamless and contactless parking experience, digital parking can supplement your airport’s post-Covid safety precautions.
According to experts in digital parking solutions, digital and intelligent parking can enhance revenue and provide new revenue streams. Here are a few possibilities:
- Drivers may fill difficult-to-find parking spots more effectively by reserving a spot through an app, resulting in maximized lots.
- Airports can set up a tiered payment system, charging a premium for bookings for closer parking spots, and so on.
- Drivers may identify parking locations quickly, minimizing traffic, wait times, and consumer discontent.
Regardless of how short or lengthy their travel is, most passengers require in-flight entertainment. Over 60% of airline passengers say in-flight entertainment and WIFI are a necessity, not a luxury, whether they prefer to watch shows, movies, or play video games.
Virtual reality is a rapidly spreading technology, with roughly 93.3 million individuals using it at least once every month. When you combine this usage figure with the fact that 54% of passengers play video games while travelling, you can see how the addition of VR as an airport or airline amenity could be well-received.
Technological advancements will be critical as the airline sector recovers from pandemic declines. Travellers are increasingly expecting seamless airport technology to support their travel experiences, and customer satisfaction affects the bottom line of every airport. By providing streaming entertainment and digital signage, companies can assist you with your airport innovations for 2022. Learn about the most significant technological advances for 2022 and put your airport on the route to success.