The seamless airports of the near future

In the near future, state-of-the-art, smart airports will be a hassle-free experience for travellers thanks to digital technologies, data-driven services and smart mobility. At least, that’s the plan.

Digitally aware

Every year billions of people travel by air, and every year these passengers lose billions of hours at airports. Slogging through slow moving queues at check-in, security and immigration only to find out your flight is delayed. We have all been there. But the most forward-thinking airports of today aspire to be highly efficient in the near future. All systems and processes will be ‘digitally aware’ and fully integrated ensuring your journey is completely seamless.

Easy as A,B,C

In the video below we see how a typical passenger would breeze through a zero-queue terminal, armed with just his smartphone, and laden with just one item of carry on luggage. His baggage has already been picked up by the time a self-driving car picks him up. Thanks to facial recognition, digital and data-driven technologies there is no stress, no strain, no struggle as he makes his way to the gate, leaving him plenty of time for shopping and a pre-flight meal.

Data holds the key

One of the biggest motivations for every stakeholder involved is trying to keep up with demand. In the year 2034, it’s expected that seven billion passengers will take to the skies. But rather than continually expanding airports – building more terminals, adding more check-in desks, more staff, etc – leading aviation experts believe the key to a seamless, sustainable future is data-sharing. In fact, much of the technology to achieve all this exists. To usher in a new ‘Golden Age’ of super-efficient air travel, all relevant bodies (airports, airlines, municipalities, government agencies) will need to be on the same page, sharing data across digital platforms and creative ideas to reimagine airport solutions.

Here’s to the future!

In some countries, airport authorities and aviation specialists are already putting some of this forward thinking into action: Singapore’s Changi Airport continues to lead the way for innovation and design; the new Taoyuan International Airport Terminal 3 in Taiwan is an outstanding example of ‘flexible design’ while many more major airports around the world are eager to catch up (safe to say, all global travellers hope they can).

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