With a dynamic and consistent change in the global economy and geopolitical equations between countries, there has been an evolution of air transport around the world over the past fifteen years. The global airline industry has reported an increase in passenger numbers over the past fifteen years.
According to Statista, the Asia-Pacific region had the highest share of air passenger traffic accounting for around one-third of the global total in 2018. Not only an increase in the number, the tectonic shift has been observed in terms of increased infrastructure and operations. , the customer experience among others.
Over the next twenty years, the airline industry is expected to double the number of customers. As travel becomes an important source of income for many countries, it becomes imperative to make it transparent in order to attract more customers. This poses the challenge of providing a robust infrastructure that can be used for security, logistics, user information capture, etc. essential for travel.
The airline industry has realized that there is a need for a smooth system that will not only help meet the growing demand associated with increased passenger traffic, but also switch to automatic systems in order to meet the demands of demand arising from increased traffic.
Extensive research and development has been involved in the creation of automated systems at emerging airports around the world. From simplifying the check-in process to automated baggage drop-off points, many interventions have been integrated into airport infrastructure to provide passengers with fluidity in their travel experience while ensuring the highest standards of safety and security. .
Automatic systems help control the rush of passengers during peak hours and simplify the check-in process. This system is more and more popular due to the increase in air traffic over the years. These systems have revolutionized the check-in process with automatic kiosks, saving passengers time to a great extent.
Studies show that the more access passengers have to the use of technology, the higher the satisfaction rate, thereby improving the passenger experience at the airport.
The growing investment in airport infrastructure has also introduced contactless technology. This was largely due to the pandemic. Contactless biometrics is one aspect of this technology that makes the process of boarding passengers at the airport contactless and smooth. Not only does this reduce the waiting time, but also decreases the physical obstructions due to the presence of sensors in and around the terminals. While US airports have embraced advanced technology, airports in the Middle East and Asia are not far behind.
By deploying these solutions, airports ensure that no passenger has to stop for their check-in processes which could take several minutes of their time. The new biometric process simply registers the passenger without stopping to look at cameras or fingerprints for identification.
Due to the pandemic, contactless technology has been highlighted as a prerequisite and its demand has increased for many solution providers. Thus, airports are taking steps to make the entire boarding process contactless. For many solution providers, this is not limited to boarding or immigration services. They try to improve the overall customer experience from the moment the passenger enters the airport and checks in. Electronic portals at airports have also contributed to this process to a large extent by facilitating movement and making it more agile.
The government s Digi Yatra initiative is creating a kind of unique loyalty program structure for travelers. You can log into the program as a passenger and when you travel you don’t need to carry your documents, your face becomes your identity. When you book a ticket online, all you need to do is mention your Digi Yatra ID number and the system will identify you at various checkpoints and you will not need to show your boarding pass and ID . This system is currently being deployed and is expected to be completed by March 2021 at four airports across India.
Increased digitization at airports will also take into account the scaling up of security systems. AI and ML would also be deployed for passenger screening. Technologies that keep contact to a minimum between two people would be highly appreciated.
Some airports are also trying to incorporate behavioral analysis into their check-in systems to go even further in terms of safety and security. However, their implementation is problematic in a context of mobility, such as travel, involving security checks or identity checks. Image analysis would also ensure that no object posing a security threat could breach the airport security checkpoint. The whole process would be transparent, secure and seamless.
This article was written by Pradeep Kushwaha, Head of Public Security, NEC Corporation India.