LeoPull, a robot that can transport up to 450kg of cleaning equipment, on show at the launch event yesterday. Local firm LionsBot International has developed 13 different robot models that can scrub, mop, vacuum, sweep, shine and even transport cleaning equipment. They can operate both indoors and outdoors.ST PHOTO: YEN MENG
An army of 300 cleaning robots that can sing, rap and speak the four official languages, as well as Singlish, are being deployed around the city.
The first robot started work at National Gallery Singapore in April last year, and another at Jewel Changi Airport when it opened this April, as part of a pilot scheme run by local firm LionsBot International.
The firm said at a launch event yesterday that more robots will be deployed today at the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore and Jewel. The rest will be steadily rolled out until March next year as part of a deal between the firm and six cleaning partners.
LionsBot has developed 13 different models that can scrub, mop, vacuum, sweep, shine and even transport cleaning equipment. They can operate both indoors and outdoors.
Tight spaces are no problem either. The LeoBots Family model is only 63cm wide and can navigate through doors and tight corridors.
Mr Dylan Ng, who co-founded LionsBot with his wife Michelle Seow and Assistant Professor Mohan Rajesh Elara from the Singapore University of Technology and Design, said: “A lot of my customers had great difficulty finding cleaners. So we thought, what if we could make an autonomous robot cleaner to make it much easier?”
LionsBot has invested $5 million in the project, including government grants. The machines are controlled through a mobile app and can communicate in English, Mandarin, Malay, Tamil and Japanese, although there is no limit to the number of languages that can be programmed in them. The robots can be rented from $1,350 to $2,150 a month.
Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry Koh Poh Koon said at the launch: “The Government will continue to support… robotics solutions across different industries so as to enable our businesses to enhance productivity… and stay competitive.” He added that the robots can ease the workload of cleaners so they can perform higher value-added duties such as supervision.
Mr Ng said: “I really hope that if we succeed, we can inspire a lot more robotic start-ups.”
The acknowledgment and presence of advanced innovations at airports has successfully made ecosystem inside airports stronger so that can oblige any necessities of the purchaser, while likewise guaranteeing a smooth and safe working of the airport itself. From mobile boarding passes and instant messages for flight calendars to sensor-based activity control and even huge data analytics, the global airport digitalization market is as of now abounding with developments went for making the whole procedure smoother, quicker, more secure, and financially savvy.
Biometric technologies are enabling airports to make client profiles that permits staff and even fliers to oversee procedures, for example, self-check in, direction through the airport, and quick reports on flight plans. The global airport digitalization market likewise incorporates various advanced trials that can help settle basic explorer issues and enhance the operational proficiency of the airport.
From the point of view of wellbeing, the global airport digitalization market is at the highest point of its business operations, with various players giving best in class security and wellbeing based advanced innovations and administrations. The developing rates of wrongdoing and terrorist activities over the world is augmenting the demand for enhanced airport security, offering ascend to digital measures for securing luggage transport and travelers alike.
The acceptance and presence of digital technologies at airports has successfully created ecosystems inside airports that can cater to any and all needs of the consumer, while also ensuring a smooth and safe functioning of the airport itself. From mobile boarding passes and text messages for flight schedules to sensor-based traffic control and even big data analytics, the global airport digitalization market is currently teeming with innovations aimed at making the entire process smoother, faster, safer, and cost effective. Biometric technology is allowing airports to create user profiles that allows staff and even fliers to manage processes such as self-check in, guidance through the airport, and immediate updates on flight schedules. The global airport digitalization market also includes a number of digital experiments that can help resolve common traveler issues and improve the operational efficiency of the airport.
The airport digitalization market is poised to grow over the years due to certain factors extensively impacting market growth such as evolution of mobile based applications, introduction of facial recognition and retina recognition systems in airports, as well as baggage scanning software. Mobile based applications allow passengers to check-in before arriving at the airport, also help ticketing to get done easily. The facial or retina recognition systems helps law enforcement officers to scrutinize every passenger entering an airport. Baggage scanning software allows the crew and the police to scan the baggage or cargo before loading them on to the aircraft. Thus, these factors are expected to fuel the market for airport digitalization in the coming years.
The market for airport digitalization is segmented on basis of application and geography. Based on application, the market is categorized as passenger screening and security, baggage services, passenger assistance, and retail. The rapid escalation of terrorist activities and crimes in airports have led the introduction of various passenger screening and security measures such as retina scan, facial recognition, self-service kiosks, and biometric sensors. These safety measures have enabled the passenger screening and security segment (in the application segment) to dominate the market and the segment is anticipated to retain its dominance in the next few years.
The market for airport digitalization is segmented on the basis of five strategic regions globally, namely, North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa, and Latin America. The market is led by North America due to a number of companies developing different software in order to offer enhanced safety in airports and to the crew as well as provide easy passenger assistance. Moreover, airports authorities across North America are rapidly adopting these safety and easy measures, which is leading the region to dominate the market.
The major players operating in the airport digitalization market includes Microsoft Corporation (U.S), IBM (U.S), Cisco Systems Inc. (U.S), Siemens AG (Germany), Apple Inc. (U.S), Living PlanIT SA (Portugal), Scarabee (Netherlands), Wind River (U.S), Daifuku Co. Ltd. (JAPAN), and SITA (Belgium).
Muscat International Airport will soon launch a high-tech system to detect drones near its airspace, said a report.
Oman Airports has signed an agreement with German company Aaronia AG and R&N Khimji to install the drone detection system, which uses radio frequency to detect any flying objects nearby, protecting the surrounding areas of the airport including the landing and take-off runway, said a report in Times of Oman.
The system can detect multiple drones and other devices at various frequencies simultaneously and comes equipped with sophisticated long-range cameras for additional verification, the report said, citing Sheikh Aimen bin Ahmed al Hosni, CEO of Oman Airports.
The deal is part of the company’s priorities to ensure the highest degree of safety for passengers and airlines, he noted.
Singapore is looking to introduce at least 40 standards to help guide the development and adoption of new technologies, such as drones, additive manufacturing, and video analytics. Singapore Standards Council (SSC) over the past year has been publishing new standards to support nascent sectors including areas identified under the country’s smart nation efforts and industry transformation roadmaps.
These encompassed 19 new standards that spanned innovation, productivity, internationalisation, and jobs and skills, and in segments that included environment services, where a national standard was introduced to offer guidance on the design, installation, operation, and maintenance of a pneumatic waste conveyance system. Development of such systems would need to comply with the new standard from January 1 next year.
The council also established a technical reference for the logistics sector, detailing data interchange for last-mile delivery based on parcel locker networks. The standard outlined requirements to facilitate interoperability between parcel locker networks operated by different operators and covered various delivery process scenarios, including retrieval and return of parcels.
A set of national standards also were released in January to support the “safe” development and rollout of autonomous vehicles and encompassed guidelines related to vehicle behaviour, functional safety, cybersecurity, and data formats.
Moving ahead, SSC said its plans for more than 40 new standards would include frameworks to facilitate “safer and more efficient” building facade inspections that tapped the use of drones, including public safety and privacy protection, as well as to establish safety requirements for the design, operation, and maintenance of additive manufacturing facilities such as 3D printing.
New standards for video analytics and surveillance systems also would provide requirements on installation, operation, reliability, and data interoperability between systems.
SSC said: “The disruptions caused by new developments can create economic displacement or provide the opportunities for new business models to thrive. With standards serving as a guide for best practices, businesses can better navigate and respond to disruptions brought about by nascent developments.”
It noted that new standards would to be developed alongside the changing global landscape and emergence of new technologies.
The council also underscored the importance of Singapore’s involvement in the development of international standards, adding that it would participate in more technical committees tasked to work on global standards in emerging technology areas including blockchain, artificial intelligence, smart manufacturing, and e-commerce. SSC noted that it also had taken on leading roles in international standardisation bodies, including the development of new ISO standards in cloud computing and water efficiency.
Such efforts were critical to ensure new global standards would relevant to Singapore and able to support its organisations, according to the council.
in addition, SSC said it worked with market players, trade associations, academia, and other government organisations in developing new standards, so these would benefit the industry at large and encourage businesses to adopt these standards.
Called Technical Reference 68, the set of national standards aims to guide the local industry in the “safe” development and rollout of autonomous vehicles in Singapore, outlining guidelines related to vehicle behaviour, functional safety, cybersecurity, and data formats.
Now a certificate authorising nation for the Common Criteria, Singapore is one of 18 countries that can assess and certify cybersecurity products under the technical standard, which it says will enable local developers to attain the certification more quickly and at a lower cost.
Government says it will introduce in third-quarter 2019 a tool called SG-Verify, which will enable businesses to perform secure identity verification and data transfer via QR scans for use cases such as visitor registration and customer acquisition.
Contributing writer Dimitri Coll, Director, ASQ, ACI World
rise in the number of global travellers coupled with the increased use of
mobile and digital technology, increased competition, and new e-commerce
options has important implications for non-aeronautical revenue for airports
and their bottom lines.
air travel continues to extend its reach to the world’s populations through
affordable choices, the demographic composition of the world is changing.
Whereas many advanced economies continue to experience an ageing population,
major emerging markets have observed an expansion in their working age
populations, which has contributed to a burgeoning middle class. Moreover, the
first generation of digital natives, millennials, have expectations that are in
line with their distinctive lifestyles, which are helping shape new business
models across aviation.
new era customer
As aviation’s center of gravity shifts eastward, Millennials, the generation born between 1980 and 2000, will also redefine the marketplace during their peak earning years. With technology at their fingertips, they have a set of expectations that distinguish themselves from previous generations. Based on research from Goldman Sachs:
“Millennials have come of age during a time of technological change, globalization and economic disruption. That’s given them a different set of behaviors and experiences than their parents. They have been slower to marry and move out on their own and have shown different attitudes to ownership that have helped spawn what’s being called a “sharing economy.” They’re also the first generation of digital natives, and their affinity for technology helps shape how they shop. They are used to instant access to price comparisons, product information and peer reviews. Finally, they are dedicated to wellness, devoting time and money to exercising and eating right. Their active lifestyle influences trends in everything from food and drink to fashion.”
change and the airport business
Creative destruction, a term first coined by Joseph Schumpeter in his famously acclaimed 1942 book, Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy, depicts the “process of industrial mutation that incessantly revolutionizes the economic structure from within, incessantly destroying the old one, incessantly creating a new one.” Technological disruption is analogous to the concept of creative destruction as it applies to modern technological innovations. Like many other industries that are faced with technological disruption, airport operators must manage a capital-intensive business but also diversify their revenue streams especially on the commercial side during a period of significant change.
managers are recognizing the importance of non-aeronautical revenue in
diversifying their revenue streams beyond aeronautical sources, as they strive
to provide more space or maximize existing space to cater to passenger
preferences. Retail facilities and food and beverage outlets inside many
airports’ terminals are attractive investments since they represent over one
third of commercial revenues on average. However, in several mature markets,
there is no doubt that, along with disruptive technologies such as pervasive
access to online retail and e-commerce platforms, increased retail competition
outside the purview of the airport has limited the growth prospects for
airports’ non-aeronautical revenues. Similarly, there are also challenges for
advertising due to the huge increase in online advertising. Car parking is
another major source of revenue that is faced with increased competition.
Airport car parks have always been subject to competition from off-site
facilities, but increasingly they must compete with public transport services
which remove the need to travel to and from airports by car. The rise of the
“sharing economy” and transportation network providers like Uber and Lyft has
also meant that airport managers must rethink their conventional
non-aeronautical revenue streams.
This is not to say that non-aeronautical activities are not growing. They are continuing to grow globally especially in some emerging markets, but their growth is not enough to surpass aeronautical revenues on a proportional basis. Based on data from ACI’s Airport Economics Survey (see Chart 1), it is worth underlining that non-aeronautical revenues (net of non-operating items) share was estimated at 43.1% in 2005 but went down to 39.9% in 2017.
Winning over customers by winning the data war
modern airport operator, which has been propelled into a dynamic and
competitive landscape, has moved away from being a mere infrastructure provider
to a diversified and complex business that operates strategically within the
air transport value chain. Consequently, an understanding of economic
performance based on data-driven analytical tools provides valuable business
intelligence to decision makers and other stakeholders. Airports must harness
data from an array of sources. This requires data on the broader economic
context and the drivers that affect the airport business. A firm grasp of
market segments based on evolving tastes and preferences of passengers is a
vital component in capitalizing on the return to customer experience. That is,
a mastery of passenger survey data and customer information provides airport
operators a valuable toolkit to leverage positive outcomes in allocating their scarce
While this new era of online retail and services have disrupted the conventional business models on the non-aeronautical side of the airport business, they could also represent new unexploited “outside of the box” opportunities yet to be explored especially since revenues from retail concessions continue to make a large portion of non-aeronautical revenues. In 2017, this portion which also includes concession revenues from duty free activities, represents 30.2% of all revenues (see Chart 2).
**Car parking revenue includes revenue from airport-operated parking
lots and car parking concessions revenue
***Other non-aeronautical revenue includes revenue from other
unspecified concessions, revenue from other unspecified activities undertaken
by an airport and other unspecified non-aeronautical activities
According to McKinsey & Company, 42% of millennials say they prefer the online retail experience and tend to avoid the conventional brick-and-mortar shops in the US context. Thus, the consultancy argues that the retail store of the future must offer an omnichannel experience to customers. This is achieved by capitalizing on the wealth of data collected by retailers and applying the latest machine learning and analytics tools which aim to customize individual customer experiences. In fact, as much as 83% of customers say they want their shopping experience to be personalized. Moreover, McKinsey’s research states that effective personalization can boost store revenues by 20% to 30%.
More specifically, in
the context of airport cash flow and revenues, it is vital that airport
operators attract the right blend of retailers as well as other concessions on
their non-aeronautical side of the business. This means not only crafting a
concession agreement to maximize net revenues from commercial activities but
working closely with these concessions to jointly achieve the ultimate end goal
of maximizing the overall customer experience.
How is the overall customer experience defined in the airport
management is the practice of designing and reacting to customer interactions
to meet or exceed customer expectations. Increasing customer satisfaction leads
to brand loyalty and advocacy, which in turn enhances revenues. More
specifically, “airport customer experience” can be defined as the sum of all the
interactions that a passenger has with the airport community. It refers to how
the customer perceives its interaction with an airport.
Customer experience execution is crucial, since the best way of increasing non-aeronautical revenues is to increase the customer satisfaction. Indeed, an increase of 1% in the global passenger satisfaction mean, as defined by the Airport Service Quality (ASQ) Survey, generates on average a 1.5% growth in non-aeronautical revenue.
ACI’s ASQ programme is the globally established
benchmarking programme measuring passengers’ satisfaction while they are
travelling through an airport and provides a detailed view of the passenger
experience through the complete airport journey. The ASQ Awards celebrate the
top airport performers who serve as role models for the industry.
summary, customers consider that they have had a satisfying airport experience
They successfully accomplish their goals
They experience positive emotions during their interactions, they have a sense of well-being, and are satisfied by the overall experience at the airport
They constantly live the same satisfying experience each time they travel through an airport
The effort and time required to interact with the airport (e.g. staff, processes, facilities, etc.) is minimized
airport delivers a satisfying experience when:
It consistently meets customer expectations
It delivers a satisfying experience over time consistently
via the various airport touchpoints and channels throughout the journey
It fully delivers on the “brand promise” – promises made vs. promises kept
order to enhance the customer experience and raise the overall satisfaction, airport
managers should prioritize their investments on the following:
The service environment
The human factor and
Discretionary time activities
The service environment is more that just the infrastructure and cleanliness of terminals. It includes an overall sense of comfort and the general airport ambience. This refers to such subtle things as lighting and temperature. The human factor is crucial in the delivery of an excellent customer experience and not only from airport employees or workers on the airport site, but from all the people involved along the entire passenger journey. In essence the discretionary time component is how airport services accommodate passengers by providing such amenities as WIFI Internet access in addition to facilitating time spent in retail outlets and restaurants. The discretionary time component literally has a two-pronged impact since it directly contributes to increases in customer satisfaction and non-aeronautical revenues. If airport managers could further harness customer data to cater to individual preferences and customize experiences, this will likely have a compound effect on revenues.
Wouldn’t it be easier to check your luggage in before you get to the airport to avoid the unnecessary stress? At Edinburgh Airport you can now check baggage in the night before you travel for a more seamless journey.
A new luggage pick-up service being trialled at Edinburgh Airport will allow passengers to check-in their bags the night before their flight.
The service trial will be available free of charge to Ryanair passengers who are staying at the Hampton by Hilton Edinburgh Airport hotel.
Guests will be asked when checking in if they are flying with Ryanair before 09:00 the next morning and be offered the chance to check-in on site. Their bags will then be collected by Edinburgh Airport staff.
The luggage will be tagged and handled by security cleared staff members before being screened as normal and being stored in a secure area before being placed into the baggage system in the morning and to be loaded onto the flight.
Adrian Witherow, Chief Operating Officer at Edinburgh Airport, said: “Making the journey through the airport as easy as possible is important to us and this trial will make the check-in and luggage part more accessible, meaning passengers can head straight to the departure lounge and start their trip that little bit quicker.
“It’s great that Ryanair and Hampton by Hilton Edinburgh Airport have bought into this trial and we’ll be working closely with each other to ensure the service is smooth and efficient. We’re keen to see how it works over the next month before evaluating and deciding on our next steps.”
Ryanair’s Alejandra Ruiz, said: “Ryanair is pleased to team up with Edinburgh Airport and Hampton by Hilton to offer our early bag drop off service to Scottish customers, allowing them to save time and streamline the check-in process.
“Ryanair customers can now simply go to the bag drop kiosk in the hotel between 19:30 and 20:30 the night before their flight to avail of this service, leaving them free to head straight to departures the next day and relax ahead of their trip.”
Carlo Capaldi, General Manager at Hampton by Hilton Edinburgh Airport, said: “We are very excited to be working with Edinburgh Airport on this fantastic new project! We look forward to providing this exclusive service to our guests.”
The German-designed system uses radio frequency technology, rather than radar
Sheihk Aimen bin Ahmed Al Hosni, the CEO of Oman Airports, said that the new system will help Muscat Airport enhance air navigation and contribute to safe landings and take-offs.
Muscat International airport will soon deploy a new system to detect drones in the surrounding airspace, according to a report in Muscat Daily.
On Sunday, Oman Airports signed an agreement with German firm Aaronia AG and R&N Khimji to install the drone detection system, which uses radio frequency to detect aerial devices.
Sheihk Aimen bin Ahmed Al Hosni, the CEO of Oman Airports, said that the new system will help Muscat Airport enhance air navigation and contribute to safe landings and take-offs.
“This falls within our priorities to ensure the highest degree of safety for passengers and airlines using Oman’s airports he said. “Aaronia has been working with high-end radio frequency (RF) and microwave systems for over 15 years, with all software and hardware being developed in Germany.”
Al Hosni added that most systems, which use radar technology, are limited by interference and have a low detection rate.
“Aaronia’s unique solution, offered today at our airport, uses [the] latest RF detection technologies and emits no signals,” he explained.
“Drones [are] not a problem here but what we are trying to do is being proactive,” he added. “This is a precautionary measure.” For all the latest transport news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.
Beyond Paradigm Summit 2019, 17-18 July, Malaysia International Trade and Exhibition Centre (MITEC) KL Sarawak Beyond Paradigm Summit 2019, 20-21 July, Pullman, Kuching For more info visit www.beyondparadigmsummit.com
Travellers at Dallas Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) may soon hand their checked bags to a robot rather than a baggage attendant.
The airport is testing autonomous robot vehicles in its international terminal to assist passengers who recheck bags after clearing customs and security when making connections to domestic flights.
The FLEET vehicles developed by the Dutch technology firm Vanderlande can handle about 450 bags per hour.
Connecting passenger place their rechecked bags on the vehicles, which then transport the luggage to the baggage belts. Travellers will use a touch screen to identify their airline in order to determine where to drop their bags; DFW will deploy four FLEET vehicles as part of the test project.
“As we go through the pilot programme, DFW will evaluate this new technology and assess potential applications of robots and autonomous vehicles at different points within the airport,” said Khaled Naja, DFW’s executive vice president of infrastructure and development.
“This particular application is both exciting and challenging for us, because FLEET will be working in a passenger area,” said Andrew Manship, Vanderlande’s executive vice president for airports.
The Dallas Observer reports that the FLEET technology was first tested at Rotterdam The Hague Airport in 2018, and that human baggage attendants will remain on duty in the DFW rechecked baggage area to assist travellers.
Muscat: Oman Airports has signed an agreement to install a drone detection system at Muscat International Airport, making it the first airport in the world to have such a setup.
The agreement was signed on Sunday, 14 July 2019, in collaboration with the German company Aaronia AG and R&N Khimji LLC, who will supply and install the latest drone detection system at Muscat International Airport.
As part of its ongoing efforts to ensure the best global standards, Oman Airports signed on Sunday, July 14 2019 an agreement with the German Company, Aaronia AG in partnership with R & N Khimji LLC to supply and install the latest Drone Detection System at Muscat International Airport, which makes it the first International Airport in the World to have an operational Drone Detection System.
The agreement was signed by Aimen bin Ahmed Al-Hosni, Chief Executive Officer of Oman Airports and Ramesh Khimji from Aaronia AG in partnership with R&N Khimji LLC.
Photo – @OmanAirports/Twitter
Aimen Al-Hosni, Chief Executive Officer of Oman Airports stated: “The system is able to detect drones and other devices using radio frequency to protect the surrounding areas of the airport including the landing and take-off runway. The system can detect multiple drones and other devices at various frequencies simultaneously and comes equipped with sophisticated long-range cameras for additional verification. Aaronia has been working with high-end radio frequency (RF) and microwave systems for over 15 years with all software and hardware being developed in Germany.”
Al-Hosni added: “With the confirmation of the procurement of the system, Muscat International Airport will be the first International Airport in the World to use this technology and to have an operational drone detection system. We are pleased, at Oman Airports, as one of the subsidiaries of Oman Aviation Group, to be actively engaged in attracting world-class cutting-edge technologies.
“We take ownership of the airports management within the context of our strategic priorities as we strive to attain the highest standards of the most advanced global airports by demonstrating a firm commitment to uphold the highest standards of security, safety, and operational efficiency in order to provide a safe and smooth travel experience for all Oman airports’ users,” he said. “Today, in coordination with all our strategic partners, we are pleased to sign the introduction of this latest security system consisting of the supply and installation of the Drone Detection System at Muscat International Airport, in cooperation with the German Company, Aaronia AG in partnership with R&N Khimji LLC.”
After signing this agreement, Muscat International Airport will be one of the leading international airports equipped with the latest and most sophisticated equipment that enhance air navigation and contribute to safe and secure landing and takeoff activities at the airport. This falls within the priorities to ensure the highest degree of safety for passengers and airlines using Oman’s airports.
Al-Hosni continued: “Drone detection in airports has become a vital requirement with several instances causing disruption of airport services around the world. We, at Oman Airports, seek to use the latest systems and technologies to ensure the highest standards of safety. The limitation of most systems using Radar technology is that they cause interference with existing airport systems and have a low detection rate. Aaronia’s unique solution, offered today at our airport, uses latest RF detection technologies and emits no signals, therefore cannot interfere with other systems running in our airports.
He went on to add: “Oman Airports is continuously searching for optimal solutions to enhance our capabilities and the work environment at our airports in the Sultanate. The system that we are going to install at Muscat International Airport can detect the location of the operator of the drone, which allows immediate coordination with the competent authorities to address any situation.”
Drones, although being generally safe, with several instances have been reported to have threatened the air traffic and caused disruption of airport and flight services around the world, resulting in flight delays and travel inconvenience for thousands of passengers, in addition to the security risk that it presents to the travel safety.
The Middle East region is witnessing rapid growth and developments that require civil aviation operators to address a range of safety-related challenges at various levels, particularly amidst the increasing demand for air routes and the higher levels of aircraft traffic and heavy use of drones.
Drones pose a potential security threat to many facilities, including airports, power facilities and security-sensitive locations.
Some drones can fly for weeks or months at high altitudes and can reach up to six kilometers. Some drones are designed to be palm-sized or smaller which make them hard to be eye-tracked or detected.