From biometric-based checks, self-boarding and real-time bag-tracking to digitalized air traffic management, airports have kept up competing by continuously adopting cutting-edge technologies for a completely frictionless travelling experience. Having insights into the newest technology helps remain at the cutting edge of the airport business, now highly competitive post-pandemic.
Innovative technologies and products are providing a wider degree of agility and flexibility for the airports as the number of passengers are gradually increasing and they prefer completion of their baggage handling operations outside the airports. Digital queuing and biometric has been viewed as a priority to be implemented to modernize every component of the journey at airports which are expected to allocate up to six per cent of their revenues each year to spend on Information Technology until 2024 on transformative projects and infrastructure upgrades aimed at improving operational efficiency and preparing themselves to handle passengers whose numbers will reach 8.2 billion in 2037 and 20.9 billion by 2040.
A diverse range of technologically advance and innovative products will be displayed at the Airport Show 2022. The world’s largest airport industry B2B platform, organized by Reed Exhibitions Middle East, will provide insights into the investments planned by the world’s airports until 2040. The 21st edition will be held from May 17 to 19 at the Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC). His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, Chairman of Dubai Airports, Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates Airline and Group, and Patron of Airport Show, said: “The Airport Show has provided over the past two decades products and services to create most advanced aviation facilities in the world.”
Airports are being increasingly becoming destinations and trying to improve the passenger experiences through utilizing new technologies to gain their confidence and satisfaction. They are fast-tracking security controls and boarding gates and grasping the opportunity to better operational processes and through different solutions, including the deployment of innovative products and services post 21st century’s second pandemic that has derailed their pace of growth. Airports are realizing IT, automation and digital transformation play an important role in efficiency, safety and customer experience.
The coronavirus pandemic has enhanced the seamless passenger flow and a contactless journey. The technologies and solutions have been in part accelerated by the pandemic but are also part of the long-term transformation underway, according to Billy Shallow, Director, Innovation and Technology at Airports Council International (ACI World) whose members operates over 1953 airports in 176 countries. An IATA Global Passenger Survey across 153 countries revealed passengers expect technology to give them more “personal control over their travel experience” and greater automation of airport processes like security and border control which they called the “biggest pain points”. The annual expenditure on airport security systems alone is set to top US$12.67 billion by 2023. The global airport technologies market is expected to grow to more than US$13 billion at an annual growth rate of almost five per cent through 2022. According to Frost & Sullivan, airport IT spending is to touch US$4.63 billion by 2023. The smart airports market is projected to grow to US$6.4 billion by 2025.
Firas Abu Ltaif, Exhibition Manager at Reeds Exhibitions, said: “The aviation industry needs to prepare itself for the boom period in the near future. Airports and airlines across the world are now on their way to recovery. After a decade of consistent and robust growth in global passenger traffic, the pandemic halted the surge in airports, causing total passenger numbers for that year to drop sharply to a level not seen in the world’s airports since 1997.”
According to ACI, airports will be spending US$2.4 trillion until the year 2040 to maintain, upgrade, expand and modernize airport infrastructure to deal with any conditions in the future similar to the challenges faced during the pandemic. The Middle East region alone will need to spend about US$151 billion for the expansion and modernization of airports. The co-located events will be ATC Forum, Airport Security Middle East, Global Airport Leaders Forum (GALF) and Women in Aviation (WIA) Forum, Airport Passengers Experience Conference and the Future GSE Summit.