Technology and innovation: Indispensable for the airport of the future

It is a quiet time at Eindhoven Airport due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, with significantly fewer passengers and suitcases. But those who think that little is happening are mistaken. The airport is looking beyond the crisis, sticking to its strategy, and working hard with its partners on new innovations and technological solutions for their baggage handling operations.

The Dutch airport in the heart of the Brainport region – a region distinguished by its expertise in technology, design and knowledge – is not about quantity, but about quality. That is why Eindhoven Airport (EIN) is committed to the continuous improvement of the quality of the airport.

“There will come a time when people will get back on their feet,” said Mirjam van den Bogaard, Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Eindhoven Airport. “We are ready for this, with an airport that continuously applies smart technology and continues to innovate to make the journey of passengers and the stay of visitors and employees at Eindhoven Airport even more comfortable.”

The airport as a testing ground

According to Mirjam, innovation is the key to an increasingly sustainable and better airport. Eindhoven Airport is working together with its various partners to make its operations even more efficient, sustainable and customer friendly. “As an airport, we have various roles. One important role is that of an inspirational testing ground. An airport is a unique testing ground because you can test in a controlled environment. We like to invite companies to test their innovations and technological solutions with us, and we have found that more and more companies are interested in doing so,” said Mirjam.

For example, Vanderlande and BagsID are conducting a bag recognition pilot trial at the airport, in which artificial intelligence (AI) is being used. A camera located in the baggage system photographs the suitcase and compares this photo with the photo of the suitcase that was previously uploaded into the system. In this way, the suitcase can be better monitored throughout the baggage handling process. According to Mirjam, this offers advantages for loading and unloading aircraft even more efficiently, but also for better streamlining of airport processes. “In the future, passengers will know whether their suitcase is already loaded. It would be nice if this technology could be developed further, to the point where passengers receive a signal on their mobile phone when their suitcase is on the baggage belt,” added Mirjam, who is following the pilot with great interest. “The first results of the pilot show that AI can be applied in the baggage process. There is the potential for this technology to be used everywhere in aviation in the future.”

Using autonomous vehicles

The collaborative work between Vanderlande and Eindhoven continues in another innovation led trial, where autonomous vehicles on the apron will transport luggage to and from the airport.
Previously, Vanderlande conducted live tests with this technology at Rotterdam The Hague Airport (RTM), gaining insights which further contributed to the development of this solution. RTM will again be the testing ground, as will Eindhoven Airport, where the autonomous vehicle trial will begin in April 2021.

“Our future strategy is based on the belief that innovations in aviation can be implemented faster if different disciplines work together seamlessly”

Mirjam asserted: “Because no driver is needed for transportation, employees can focus on the baggage process itself. Perhaps the process of loading and unloading the aircraft will become more efficient and faster, because individual vehicles will be carrying baggage continuously. Thus, there is no need to wait until the train of baggage carts is fully loaded as there is today.”

Increasing flexibility in the loading and unloading process is a key reason for conducting the trial. “Managing passengers waiting in the arrivals hall for their suitcase is a real puzzle. While it will certainly be some time before we can deploy this new technology, we believe that this new method, the use of data and the deployment of experienced staff will produce an even better baggage process,” Mirjam added.

Self-service technologies improving passenger flows

Technology is also used to improve passenger flow. For example, passengers at Eindhoven will soon be able to print their own baggage labels at bag tag kiosks. Kiosks produced by Flight Solutions are currently being tested. For the time being, baggage labels are still being used in the baggage process. “The use of these kiosks should result in an even faster passenger flow at Drop & Go, because the suitcase is already provided with a self-adhesive label,” detailed Mirjam. “This type of label is easier for passengers to use and prevents ‘unrecognisable’ luggage.”

Mirjam is enthusiastic about the use of technology and conducting pilots at the airport together with airport partners. “Aviation is facing numerous challenges. By innovating, we turn these challenges into opportunities.” Additionally, working with Vanderlande is a logical choice for the COO: “We have been working with Vanderlande, the manufacturer of our baggage systems, for many years. Like us, this company strives to use new technologies to improve the airport process even further. Our future strategy is based on the belief that innovations in aviation can be implemented faster if different disciplines work together seamlessly.”

Innovation as the key to sustainability

Eindhoven is part of the Royal Schiphol Group, which believes that innovation and technology is the key to the most sustainable and best airports in the world. Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (AMS) and the other airports within the Group work closely with each other, as well as with external partners, airlines, universities, start-ups, companies and knowledge institutes, in order to validate new developments for the multimedia hubs of the future. Because Eindhoven Airport and the other regional airports of the Schiphol Group act as testing grounds for technology and innovation, the knowledge gained from these tests are shared within the Group and then scaled up.

“The trick is that the use of technology remains at the service of the passenger and the employee, and should never become a barrier”

According to Mirjam, qualitative recovery after COVID-19 is now more important than ever. Technology and innovation help the airport to make efficient use of assets. In many cases, this is also more sustainable. In addition, it is essential to prevent errors and delays to avoid unnecessary costs. The use of technology in aviation becoming increasingly important is crystal clear, according to Mirjam. Aviation started with technology and the drive to achieve the impossible: “The trick is that the use of technology remains at the service of the passenger and the employee, and should never become a barrier. In addition, it helps us to make possible what seems impossible to some: the development of sustainable aviation,” she concluded.

read full article at : https://www.internationalairportreview.com/article/153397/technology-and-innovation-indispensable-for-the-airport-of-the-future/?utm_source=Email+marketing&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=IAR+-+Industry+Insight+-+Baggage+Handling+-+Alstef+Group+-+18+June+2021&utm_term=Industry+Insight%3a+Baggage+Handling&utm_content=https%3a%2f%2femails.internationalairportreview.com%2frussellpublishinglz%2f&gator_td=49FTlr4KwHXuoZjNsF88ptKvq4ABA7K%2bjDu3ArhNgCGu23VLXmDZxa%2b6VJiSy6905Vu4Fa9uF4YRLrsby8fKMT3di1IpRFM0xErU7c%2f4Rq7bqaIKnRdc9ftAPgJiAkngdwweS4FThwPfKBeDWeqyJZQXJvqraUpJdXloXrQsQ7BC9vMsH7ypj20BRFDFPRpEVW97h3nEapcOBcke%2f75pdrRod33VYsY2IAVhPPqqVLqanE8UsBFXRWWqVNN8qi2i

Touchless Travel Using a Secure Digital ID

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11 Projects chosen to develop H2 HUB AIRPORT hydrogen project

The winners were selected from among 124 applicants for the Île-de-France Region project.

The H2 HUB AIRPORT project has announced the 11 winning projects that will be contributing to this hydrogen development.

The renewable energy effort’s call for expressions of interest was met by 124 interested groups.

These 11 projects will contribute to the Île-de-France Region’s H2 HUB AIRPORT project, which will involve the transformation of Paris airports into hydrogen hubs. This is a part of the broader effort from the region to take part in the European Commission’s goal to achieve zero-emission aircrafts by 2035.

The primary themes described in the call for expressions of interest in the project were: hydrogen storage, transportation, and distribution; diversification of H2 use cases in airports in addition to aeronautics in general; and a circular H2 economy.

The selected projects will be central to the development of the H2 HUB AIRPORT project as a whole.

The 11 projects selected to take part will be core building blocks for both the construction of the airport based H2 value chain but also the expansion of the project for covering all the various issues related to an aerospace ecosystem.

Meetings will be held in coming weeks and months to help establish a timeline for each project. The goal will be to help to secure long-term financially feasible hydrogen solutions and to be able to begin the on-site testing starting in 2023.

Among the winners for H2 production, hydrogen storage, transportation and delivery include Air Liquide Advanced Technologies, a subsidiary of Air Liquide. That company will also provide a refuelling truck with a large capacity to contain liquid H2.

The Ecodrome consortium has also proposed to establish a supply station for both hydrogen refueling and electric recharging on airfields for use by electric passenger aircraft as well as hybrid land vehicles.

Geostock, an engineering group, specializes in storing energy underground and will develop solutions for large H2 storage in lined mined cavities. Hylandair will use its own hydrogen gas ecosystem for use on the air and the land side of the H2 HUB AIRPORT. Sakowin and Universal Hydrogen are also among the winners in this project.

source : https://www.hydrogenfuelnews.com/h2-hub-airport/8546760/

London Luton Airport Selects Veovo Revenue Management

London Luton Airport Selects Veovo Revenue Management to Automate Billing and Fuel Growth

Veovo, the technology company that is powering smart decision-making across airports globally, announced today that London Luton Airport (LLA) has selected Veovo’s Revenue Management solution. The software will automate the billing of the airport’s aeronautical revenue and support the flexible commercial deals needed to encourage traffic recovery.

With Veovo Revenue Management, LLA can fully automate the collation and processing of billing data in real-time. It will save the airport hours of work, reducing the cost to invoice, minimise errors, and improve the cash cycle time. Veovo’s flexible tariff structure also allows the airport to quickly innovate with incentive schemes to restore and expand routes and monetise all types of services.

As air traffic returns, finding ways to fuel revenue growth through greater billing efficiency and creating compelling carrier deals will be crucial to airports´ recovery. The complexity and manual effort to gather and process aeronautical billing data can cause invoicing delays, slowing revenue realisation – something LLA believes is no longer sustainable in the new travel future.

Kamal Patel, Head of IT at London Luton Airport, said: “To create a more resilient and agile airport business, we wanted to drive real change with our revenue management by removing complexity, while also creating opportunities to stand out from the competition with new creative tariff structures. We expect Veovo to play a big part in helping us achieve greater efficiencies and innovation to fuel our growth.”

James Williamson, Veovo CEO, said: “Forward-thinking airports like London Luton Airport are investing in revenue management technology now, despite the market conditions, to be ready for the future of travel with better outcomes for themselves, their airline partners and their customers. We’re thrilled to be chosen as their partner to help them achieve greater revenue assurance and growth at every stage of the recovery process.”

Veovo Revenue Management accommodates both Single and Multi-Airport organisations and is relied on by airports around the world including Hong Kong, Belfast International and Melbourne. It is available as a stand-alone module or an integrated component of the Veovo Intelligent Airport Platform. This AI-driven solution connects multi-modal passenger flow, airport management and revenue maximisation for smarter, end-to-end decision-making, efficient operations and brilliant customer journeys.

source : https://veovo.com/discover/news/luton-airport-revenue-management

EU members agree on Covid-19 passes for summer travel

European Union legislators and member countries found a compromise Thursday for launching COVID-19 certificates before the height of the summer holiday season, a move aimed at boosting travel and tourism following the restrictions of the coronavirus pandemic.

The various players managed to reconcile their differences during another round of discussions, paving the way for the trans-border travel passes to be introduced. Officials said the system should be up and running by July 1.

“This agreement is the first step to get the Schengen Area back on track,” European Parliament rapporteur Juan Fernando Lopez Aguilar said, referring to Europe’s passport-free travel zone. “It will make all the difference, and it won’t be repeating the nightmare of Summer 2020.”

The European Commission said the certificates will be issued in digital format and designed to be shown either on smartphones or paper. It guaranteed that “a very high level of data protection will be ensured.”

Read full article with vidéo here : https://www.france24.com/en/europe/20210521-eu-members-agree-on-covid-19-passes-for-summer-travel

Preparing aerodromes to manage disruption from drone incidents

Sarah Vanessa Poralla, Aerodrome Expert at the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), and Dr.-Ing. Veit Voges, Senior Project Leader of Flight Ops Engineering at Zurich Airport, explore the threat posed by drones in the airport environment, and what can be done to prevent, mitigate and learn from them.

In the next five to 10 years, Europe will see the safe, secure and efficient integration of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) – also referred to as drones – into the airspace, where they will be operated alongside manned aircraft, such as in the airport environment. This necessitates the introduction of additional specific rules and procedures for UAS operations and the organisations involved in those operations, as well as a high degree of automation and digitalisation. This ‘U-space’ is a combination of U-space services, volumes of airspace and information exchange to support the air traffic management (ATM) of UAS and mitigate the risks of collision between the different UAS, as well as between UAS and manned aircraft in the shared U-space airspace.

In the next five to 10 years, Europe will see the safe, secure and efficient integration of Unmanned Aircraft Systems into the airspace, where they will be operated alongside manned aircraft”

The European Union (EU) has adopted common European rules that are applicable to drones and are found in Regulation (EU) 2019/947 on the rules and procedures for the operation of UAS, and Regulation (EU) 2019/945 on UAS and third-country operators of UAS. The rules aim to strike a balance between the opportunities offered by drones and the necessary obligations on drone manufacturers and operators, in terms of safety, respect for privacy, the environment, protection against noise and public security. The new rules ensure that drone operators – whether for recreational or professional use – will have a clear understanding of what is and is not allowed.

However, drones have evolved into a constant threat at airports in the last few years, and the defined rules cannot always prevent unintentional operations near aerodromes, nor obviously those for intentional or malicious purposes.

Zurich Airport (ZRH) is facing around two to three incidents per month where an unauthorised drone is seen, and a report is made to airport security or the police. While, fortunately, there has not been a major incident with long interruptions of traffic, other examples in Europe and worldwide highlight the constant threat due to drone sightings and the evolving situation – the major events at Madrid–Barajas Airport (MAD) and Frankfurt Airport (FRA) in February and March 2020, respectively, are some such examples. Additionally, after having to accommodate VIP movements and state aircraft during the annual World Economic Forum, which was hosted in Davos in January 2021, Zurich Airport requires a sensitive mindset with respect to possible drone incidents and needs to know how to counter them effectively. Each airport will have a certain attentiveness to this nowadays.

At the beginning of most drone events, one is not aware if the drone is operated by a pilot motivated by negligence, gross negligence or even criminal intent”

At the beginning of most drone events, one is not aware if the drone is operated by a pilot motivated by negligence, gross negligence or even criminal intent. While the motive may differ substantially, the response triggered by the aviation community at airports is often similar and can result in major consequences for its operations. Information might be scarce and difficult to verify. The location of the drone might be hard to determine. New contradictory reports could come in. Time is running fast to react.

This ambiguity about a situation is a challenging task which needs to be solved as soon as possible in order to avoid long airport disruptions, flight cancellations and delays or, in the worst case, prevent a mid-air collision between the drone and a departing or landing aircraft.

A drone incident can combine aviation safety and security aspects or morph from one to the other. For this reason, a holistic approach is needed, encompassing both safety and security considerations.

In practice, it is very challenging to identify a drone and even more difficult to ascertain the motivation and intent of the perpetrator/ offender behind the incident. For this reason, it is necessary to consider all drone incident offender categories in all scenarios, to be developed as part of the risk assessment. Furthermore, it must be ensured that different types of motivations are considered as a possibility in the threat assessment during an incident, based on all available information. In accordance with the overall objective, all relevant actors should respond appropriately and quickly to mitigate or even neutralise the developing threat.

The preparation of an airport’s drone incident management is a multi-layered set of measures and activities. The key to being the most effective, however, is to start out by forming a joint working group with all stakeholders”

The preparation of an airport’s drone incident management is a multi-layered set of measures and activities. The key to being the most effective, however, is to start out by forming a joint working group with all stakeholders, e.g. law enforcement, air operators, airport steering, air traffic control (ATC) etc. This ensures the best understanding of the issue, most likely reflects all relevant aspects and provides a robust decision-making process that is needed in time-critical situations during an incident.

Throughout 2020, the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) worked with the Counter-UAS Task Force that it had formed to work on material to help aerodromes prepare for the misuse of drones in their surroundings. The task force combined expertise and knowledge from all relevant stakeholders – airports, air navigation service providers (ANSPs), air traffic control officers (ATCOs), air operators, DG HOME and DG MOVE, as well as law enforcement authorities – and provided an exceptional platform of interdisciplinary work to find effective solutions for the complex counter UAS problem.

Airports were represented in this group by Airports Council International (ACI) Europe and the member airports of AENA Spain, Frankfurt, Fraport Greece, Milan, Munich, Paris/ Groupe ADP and Zurich to provide first-hand industry experience and specific airport examples in the discussion.

The work results were compiled in a manual separated in three parts:

  • Part 1: Drone Incident Management at Aerodromes – the challenge of unauthorised drones in the surroundings of aerodromes
  • Part 2: Drone Incident Management at Aerodromes – guidance and recommendations
  • Part 3: Drone Incident Management at Aerodromes – resources and practical tools.

Only Part 1 is publicly available on the EASA website. The full manual, containing all three parts, can be obtained upon request by aviation actors, law enforcement and national civil aviation authorities by contacting EASA.

While there will be no ‘silver bullet’ solution for all airports, the group has defined a process outline and threat zones in a generic way, which will be useful at multiple locations, to be reflected upon and used as a recommendation. The work provides guidance on how to develop appropriate arrangements and procedures which support an incident response that is quick, effective and proportionate. In this way, air traffic suspensions or airspace or runway closures may be avoided or kept to a minimum, and airport closure would remain a last resort. 

source : https://www.internationalairportreview.com/article/156595/preparing-arrival-drones-airport-environment/?utm_source=Email+marketing&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=IAR+-+2021+Content+highlights+email+-+18+May+2021&utm_term=Karima%2c+take+a+look+at+the+latest+content+from+the+airports+of+the+future%2c+plus+meet+the+new+Editor!&utm_content=https%3a%2f%2femails.internationalairportreview.com%2frussellpublishinglz%2f&gator_td=GiDw4EWkROGLfKHewsOA9ZtOzQH9%2bxLCMXpeng43CNmyRYIHnOQ6qjMGCIbJHb6cmcdBcY%2flgcED4qCmtotJEwKbF695SmjsStevUX7lSVgeM6jq8htPECT%2fVs6evgrpOABsNZJh6tOVemtPQD7hU15TOaRJoVDNp8KdAocXKhEBkcxwbOWbKvEtMSpaWtJ%2bNNP275lDBKu5e1BZ8bz9YhHQW6Jo1f%2fZb7SV335za9M%3d

CVG Airport Adopts Veovo’s

CVG Airport Adopts Veovo’s Curb-to-Flight Flow Management for Data-driven Passenger Enhancements

Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport CVG Flow management veovo

Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG) is partnering with Veovo to expand data input at the airport.

CVG was one of the first airport operations in North America and the first airport in the United States to deploy internet of things (IoT) sensor technology in the security checkpoint to monitor and display wait times. That project and the drawn data allowed CVG and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to make data-driven decisions on staff scheduling, which improved wait times and passenger experience.

CVG is now adopting Veovo’s curb-to-flight flow management technology to better understand passenger movement beyond the security checkpoint and into other areas of the terminal and concourses. Specifically, the airport will get to see how travelers, processes, and airlines interact and interconnect.

“Providing memorable and predictable journeys, from the driveway to the runway, is a top priority for CVG, and data is the key enabler for our vision,” said Brian Cobb, Chief Innovation Officer, CVG. Innovative solutions, like those provided by Veovo, allow us to gather and analyse data in real-time and proactively put it to work. We will be able to make better plans and improve productivity, respond to customer needs faster and tap into revenue growth opportunities.”

The rollout of the technology will be done in phases throughout the year. Once complete, historical and live data will enable CVG to make daily operational decisions and long-term facility improvement plans.

For example, by understanding gate arrival patterns by flight, CVG can adjust call-to-gate times or airline gate assignments to minimize crowding. The airport can evaluate the effect disruptions have on passenger behavior and prevent issues and mitigate their impact. Dwell and flow data can also be used to drive strategic plans for layout configuration, signage, food and beverage placements and gate assignments.

As passenger traffic returns over the next several years, these insights will help the airport grow efficiently with the proper staff resourcing and concession planning to improve product offerings and placements for travelers.

Background on the tech: The Veovo platform bundles AI-powered analytics, data from movement sensors and rich visualisations to provide live and historical insights into passenger occupancy, dwell times and movement patterns by flight. This data can be viewed for specific areas, grouped areas, and eventually the entire facility, including the Terminal and both Concourses.

“CVG is one of a growing number of airports globally that have come to recognise the intrinsic value of managing and understanding passenger movements throughout their concourse,” said James Williamson, Chief Executive Officer at Veovo. “Because traveler behavior can vary, depending on volumes, time of day, travel class, destination and various other factors, this technology is invaluable in developing an even greater knowledge of the customer journey and helping to shape its future.”

CVG joins a host of other airports, including AmsterdamBristolBirminghamBillund and Keflavik, that have moved beyond single-process measurement to terminal-wide insights.

The post-pandemic world will only accelerate the focus on the passenger experience for the airport; both to attract customers who have a choice of departure/destination airports and airlines who want the routes to/from airports, which are both economic and provide the best travel experience.

source : https://veovo.com/discover/news/cvg-airport-flow-management/

ACI World Data Reveals COVID-19’s Impact on World’s Busiest Airports

From :

Airports Council International (ACI-World)Apr 23rd, 2021

On April 22, Airports Council International (ACI) World published its preliminary world airport traffic rankings – covering passenger traffic, cargo volumes, and aircraft movements for 2020 – showing the dramatic impact of COVID-19 on what are ordinarily the world’s busiest airports.

Global passenger traffic at the world’s top 10 busiest airports decreased by -45.7 percent in 2020. Overall, passenger traffic at the world’s airports decreased by -64.6 percent which shows that the impact of the pandemic and the early stages of recovery in air travel has not been uniform around the world.

According to the preliminary data published April 22, Guangzhou Bai Yun International Airport in China recorded the most passenger traffic in 2020, with Atlanta Hartsfield- Jackson International Airport in the United States just behind.

Seven of the top 10 airports for passenger traffic are in China with three in the United States. In most cases, domestic air travel is beginning a modest rebound while international air travel remains depressed because of on-going travel restrictions. For example, Hongqiao International Airport in China has moved from 46th position in 2019 to the 9th in 2020, illustrating the uneven nature of the impact of, and recovery from, the pandemic across the world.

“The impact of the COVID-19 on global passenger traffic pandemic brought aviation to a virtual standstill in 2020 and we continue to face an existential threat,” ACI World Director General Luis Felipe de Oliveira said. “The data published today reveals the challenge airports continue to face and it remains imperative that the industry is supported through direct support and sensible policy decisions from governments to ensure that aviation can endure, rebuild connectivity, and fuel a global economic recovery.

“The findings show that the impact remains uneven with different regions experiencing different challenges and requiring different policy decisions and support from governments to lay the foundation for recovery. “With some positive signs of recovery, especially in countries with high rates of vaccination, a sustained global recovery will only be realised with an escalation of vaccination campaigns, the continued development of digital health passes, and coordinated and cohesive policy support from governments.”

Air cargo was less impacted by COVID 19, with volumes decreasing by only -8.9 percent, to an estimated 109 million metric tonnes in 2020, equivalent to 2016 levels (110 million metric tonnes).

Air cargo volumes in the top 10 airports grew by +3 percent in 2020. These airports represent around 28 percent (30.6 million metric tonnes) of the global volumes in 2020. The gain can be attributed to the increase in demand for online consumer goods and pharmaceutical products and personal protective equipment. With a +6.7 percent increase, Memphis International Airport surpassed Hong Kong International Airport.

ACI World estimates that there were 58 million global aircraft movements in 2020, representing a drop of -43 percent from 2019. The top 10 airports represent seven percent of global traffic (4.2 million movements) and experienced a drop of -34.3 percent compared to 2019. Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport surpassed Chicago O’Hare International Airport, after leading in 2019 and 2018.

For airports, revenues are tightly correlated to traffic levels but, like many other capital-intensive businesses, a large proportion of airport costs remain largely fixed and do not fall at the same level as traffic throughput and revenues during the crisis. Even with reduced operations, the closure of terminals and staff layoffs, this imbalance remains.

“There is no denying the current economic realities – and the financial shortfall they create – that airports face,” Luis Felipe de Oliveira said. “Airports are economic generators, bringing socio-economic benefits and jobs to the communities they serve, and governments need to provide the necessary financial alleviation and assistance to suit local circumstances.

“Airport operators also continue to work closely with their airline partners and other stakeholders balancing the current market realities with the cost of providing the infrastructure as they navigate the crisis together.”

source : https://www.aviationpros.com/airports/press-release/21219924/airports-council-international-aciworld-aci-world-data-reveals-covid19s-impact-on-worlds-busiest-airports

Contactless Technology Adoption At Airports Gets Accelerated After Covid-19

Contactless technology is defining the passenger experiences at an increasing number of airports across the world after the 21stcentury’s second pandemic turned the world of travel upside down and rapidly accelerated the pace of biometric deployment.

Biometrics remain the focus for investment with 64 per cent of airports aiming to roll out self-boarding gates using biometric and ID documentation by 2023. Contactless technologies have proven to be a game-changer as a 2020 report by SITA on Air Transport IT Insights revealed and airports have accorded high investment priority for touchless technology between now and 2023.

Emirates has unveiled a biometric path at DXB for contactless journeys. Kuala Lumpur has installed UV tunnels to automatically disinfect baggage as it passes through the conveyor belt.  San Diego Airport is utilizing advanced video analytics for social distancing and mask compliance. IATA is trailing a system that enables passengers to find information on travel, testing and vaccine requirements for their journey. Transport Security Administration (TSA) explores the use of UV-C light to disinfect security checkpoint bins in the US.

Touchless technology will help minimise the spread of viruses and reduce the interaction between passengers and staff through contactless check-in, security processes, inflight entertainment and food and beverage pre-ordering.

Essentials for travel now include contactless kiosks, Passenger Reconciliation System (PRS), contactless payments at the airport and mobile apps. Abu Dhabi-based Etihad became the first airline to trial new contactless self-service technologies that can estimate a passenger’s vital signs and allows touch-less health screenings at airport kiosks and bag drops. Self-service technology, predictive analysis, artificial intelligence, real-time information and data-sharing are among the digital concepts airports are deploying now to achieve a seamless passenger experience.

According to the Airports Council International (ACI), customer experience is fast becoming one of the most important tools to differentiate airportsfrom their competitors. The link between emotion and memory explains the importance of an airport to deliver an emotionally enriched experience to surprise the customer. Airports are determining their approaches to enhancepassenger experience once the pandemic subsides and create an environment that will positively impact the confidence to travel, loyalty, retention and deliver increased satisfaction.

Emirates, the world’s largest international airline, has launched facial recognition checkpoints that give passengers a ‘touchless’ transfer through Dubai International. The carrier integrated a “biometric path” into its facilities at DXB for passengers to have a contactless experience when travelling through its terminals. The innovation is aimed at improving traveller flow through the airport by requiring fewer manual document checks and less queuing. The biometric path uses a mixture of facial and iris recognition technology to create a more hygienic, contactless way to move through the airport, by reducing human interaction throughout the process.

Dubai also has in place the world leading passport control facility launched by the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs in Dubai (GDRFA-Dubai) in partnership with Emirates. The Smart Tunnel lets passengers simply walk through a tunnel to be cleared by immigration officials without human intervention or needing a passport stamp. Emirates is also the first airline outside the US to get approval for biometric boarding and its passengers flying to the US are able to choose to use facial recognition technology at departure gates.

This May,contactless technology will be a key attraction at the world’s largest B2B airport show, held in Dubai annually.Daniyal Qureshi, Group Exhibitions Director at Reed Exhibitions Middle East which is organising the 20thedition of Airport Show from 24-26 May at Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC), says the trend for a contactless passenger experience in airports has rapidly accelerated after the pandemic and several airports including Dubai International stand out. At the world’s largest annual airport event, the latest contactless innovations and airport digital transformations will be at the centre of the eventexperience this year.

Held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, Chairman of Dubai Airports and Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates Airline and Group, the Show will take place across 12,000 square metres of exhibition space with participants expected from 90 countries as the world returns to normalcy. It will have three co-located events: Global Airport Leaders Forum (GALF), ATC Forum and Airport Security as well as two new conferences focusing on Airport Passengers’ Experience and Airport Digital Transformation.

Dubai Airport, the world’s number one airport for international travellers for the seventh consecutive year, leads in terms of safety and security with the increased use of touchless technology. Airport passengers in DXB are being offered the chance to use their eyes to confirm their identity without the need to show any documents. The system helps control the spread of the new coronavirus as it does not require airport passengers to have contact with other people as it uses a biometric method.  The system takes only five to six seconds to complete the scanning process. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, airport operators now face new challenges in minimizing personal contact, reducing crowds, limiting common access to high-touch surfaces, and preventing terminals from becoming potential virus breeding grounds. 

Airport terminals can no longer have packed check-ins; passengers sitting shoulder-to-shoulder at gate lounges and jostling crowds at baggage carousels.  Technology and real-time monitoring hold the answers to managing social distancing and minimising risks in the new normal. Reducing human and surface contact is the key in the short term as airports across the world slowly begin to unlock.  The global smart airport market size is expected to reach about US$26 billion by 2025, according to a research study.  The global airport services market size is projected to reach US$232.88 billion by 2027. About 97 percent of airlines are working on mobile applications as all essential customer services become contactless. Automated biometric boarding gates are considered a priority by 58 percent of airlines, and are a focus of 64 per cent of airports for both border checks and flight boarding.

source: https://www.cybergear2.com/contactless-technology-adoption-at-airports-gets-accelerated-after-covid-19/

How airlines and airports are creating digital companions to keep passengers informed during COVID-19

With travel restrictions and pre-departure testing requirements constantly changing, passengers are presented with more travel information than ever before. Here, we take a look at how air transport stakeholders from the likes of United Airlines, Delta, Changi Airport Group, Airbus, Singapore Airlines, Airports Council International (ACI) World and Apple Maps are turning to digital means to streamline the booking process, keep passengers informed and inspire confidence in travel.

One-stop online platforms

Using United Airlines’ Travel-Ready Center customers can review COVID-19 entry requirements, find local testing options and upload any required testing and vaccination records for domestic and international travel.

A number of airlines recently launched their own digital platforms that contain all necessary information pre-travel. United Airlines, for instance, unveiled its Travel-Ready Center where customers can review COVID-19 entry requirements, find local testing options and upload any required testing and vaccination records for domestic and international travel. The digital platform is accessible both on the United app and website, and provides customers with a personalised, step-by-step guide of what is needed for their trip.

Similarly, Singapore Airlines introduced a one-stop-shop online portal, as part of a new pilot service launched in partnership with Collinson. Using the online portal, passengers are able to book a pre-departure COVID-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and serology tests, and receive their results directly on the platform. Customers can make an appointment for a pre-departure test with their preferred clinic from the list of recognised testing facilities available on the online portal, as well as receive their test results directly on the platform, which they can then present upon check-in at the airport. The portal is also able to house digital health passes documenting passengers’ COVID-19 status, such as the IATA Travel Pass.

Following the trials with SIA, low-cost carrier Scoot also launched a partnership with Collinson to introduce the digital platform.

Digital travel concierge

It’s not just airlines that are introducing new digital means to keep passengers informed. Changi Airport Group this week unveiled a new Safe Travel Concierge (STC) for passengers flying into Singapore, offering personalised pre-travel guidance and COVID-19 test booking.

After registering for an STC account, passengers then need to add their upcoming trips. Depending on their profile and trip details, they will be shown a customised list of pre-travel requirements to complete before flying to Singapore. In addition to booking their on-arrival PCR test, passengers can also access services such as the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority’s electronic Arrival Card and Health Declaration form through STC. Passengers can also stay updated with the latest COVID-19 news on the portal.

CAG’s Managing Director for Airport Operations Management Jayson Goh explained that Changi Airport Group initially trialled the STC prototype at TravelRevive, the first hybrid tradeshow in Singapore, in cooperation with the Singapore Tourism Board.

He explained that the online concierge service can ease the anxiety of air travel by helping passengers navigate their pre-travel requirements.

In a more unusual move, Airbus became the first aircraft manufacturer to launch a new travel companion app, called Tripset. The app aims to provide real-time flight and travel information to passengers. With two interfaces, the app enables passengers to know both currently available flights and the destinations to which they can fly. According to Airbus, Tripset is “airport-, aircraft- and airline-agnostic”. Once a ticket has been purchased, the app also provides passengers with information on what to expect at their departure and arrival destinations.

This is one of the few times Airbus is targeting its offering directly to the consumer, and it would be interesting to see how the aircraft manufacturer is planning to stimulate demand among passengers to download the app, instead of interacting directly with their preferred airline.

Interactive travel maps

Apple Maps now features COVID-19 travel information for over 300 airports worldwide.

In partnership with the Airports Council International (ACI) World, Apple Maps has updated its native Maps app to feature COVID-19 information designed to assist passengers when travelling. Apple Maps on iPhone, iPad and Mac will now show COVID-19 health measure information for over 300 airports worldwide when searched via the app, either through a link to the airport’s own COVID-19 advisory page, or directly on the in-app location card itself. Using information collected from airports through ACI’s web-based Health Measures Portal, ACI data captures new health-related measures implemented at airports in response to COVID-19. More detailed information about the health measures in place at individual airports around the world is also available through ACI’s Check & Fly mobile app and passenger portal. The Check & Fly app provides a way for airports to communicate to passengers directly about what to expect when they plan to travel, helping them to meet any requirements, and making their journeys smoother and more efficient.

“The recovery of air travel will rely on passenger confidence in the industry’s focus on their health and welfare,” said ACI World Director General Luis Felipe de Oliveira in a press release following the announcement. “Having this information displayed in Apple Maps will help to make this crucial data much more broadly accessible to passengers. This will help passengers to plan their journeys and be reassured that their health and safety remains a priority for the industry as we all work towards a sustained return to operations and global connectivity. Collaboration remains key to a globally coordinated recovery and we are grateful to our members for the partnership we have forged to deliver this important tool that will contribute to the rebuilding of passenger confidence in air travel.”

Delta Air Lines also recently rolled out a new tool, called the Delta Discover Map, in partnership with FTE Startup Hub member xCheck. The digital map allows passengers to easily find the cheapest destinations to fly to, as well as any travel restrictions like quarantine or COVID-19 testing requirements at each destination.

While this influx of travel information mobile apps and digital platforms is certainly good news for passengers, it will be intriguing to observe how well these apps will perform in this rather overcrowded digital travel app space. During the upcoming FTE APEX Virtual Expo, attendees will have the opportunity to hear from a number of industry leaders on their strategies to support passengers in the post-COVID-19 world through digital innovation. Find out more here

source: https://www.futuretravelexperience.com/2021/04/how-airlines-and-airports-are-creating-digital-companions-to-keep-passengers-informed-during-covid-19/?utm_source=Future+Travel+Experience+News&utm_campaign=de8c5e8410-fte_nl_090421&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_e5a8fdd64e-de8c5e8410-91950936