How new technology is creating smart airports – Part two

AiQ has worked closely to implement new technology at airports worldwide. There is a lot for airports, operators and airlines to understand and implement to be able to innovate and introduce future airports that enhance the passenger experience.

The second part of our two-part blog looks at more new technology that can be expected over the next few years in the aviation industry.

The Internet of Things

The connection of internet enabled devices has revolutionised the way we work, live and relax, so of course it should influence how we travel. Information on passengers throughout their entire journey offers immense business potential for the airport industry and sets new standards that can only lead to increased efficiency and improved passenger experience in the future.

The rising demand for digitalisation and automation systems gives opportunities for real-time visibility, such as digital marketing and signage, live information sharing, remote sensors for monitoring runway or environmental conditions, facial recognition software or enabling whole digital control towers.

Home/Workplace Baggage collection

Taking your baggage to the airport can be an issue for passengers, so several firms and airports have start offering options to remove this hassle from the passenger journey. This is something the AiQ actually trailed during the London 2012 Olympics , overcoming stress and demand at security and check in by picking up baggage from the Athlete’s Village the night before their flights. This allowed the baggage to be checked in, scanned, and ready to board before the athletes reached the airport for their return flights.

Airportr offers these services to passengers at Heathrow and Gatwick, allowing them a same-day, on demand luggage service providing bag-free travel to and from their home, workplace or holiday destination within the London airports.  It aims to reduce the burden of transporting baggage and gives an improved passenger experience, with quicker, lighter and stress free journeys.

AiQ have worked with Airportr, analysing where the optimum location for their distribution centre for Gatwick and Heathrow operations, with regards to current and future demand. We analysed their Big Data, external factors such as the road network congestion, the land availability against the locations of the collections. This was a very beneficial exercise for Airportr, improving their cost efficiency.

Self Service Bag Drop & Early Bag Stores

Queues can be significantly reduced by self-service bag drop, facilitated by Early Bag Stores. These allow passengers to check-in any time, reducing Landside queues. Birmingham Airport, for example, implemented 32 kiosks for self-service bag drop that have decreased queue times from 20 minutes to 5 minutes, which in turn has resulted in reduced transaction times from 2 minutes to between 35-45 seconds. Chris Wilson, head of terminal operations at Birmingham Airport said that “The self-bag drop solution is also improving customer service at the airport, allowing airport staff greater flexibility to better assist passengers who need additional help.”

For more information about Early Bag Stores and other Baggage Handling Systems technology have a look at our guide to the Baggage Handling Process.

To find out more about the new developments, contact us today