Last year we highlighted how airports were undergoing refurbishments to help improve their customers’ experiences. Airports in Luton, Norwich, the Isle of Man and even as far flung as Cambodia have added a range of new facilities such as bars, food and drink amenities and VIP lounges to make their airport experience more enjoyable for frequent flyers.
But it’s necessary for passengers to make their way through busy check-ins and security gates before they get to experience the luxury offerings of any airport.
That’s why changes are also being made to not only enrich the airport experience, but to make the whole journey as seamless as possible.
According to research by global IT provider SITA, airlines and airports are investing to deliver secure and easy travel for passengers, and biometrics is key to achieving this. Biometrics authentication is used in computer science as a form of identification and access control. A biometric is a physical or biological feature or attribute that can be measured and the use of biometrics ensures that individuals can assert only their own identity.
SITA claim that “over the next three years, 77% of airports and 71% airlines are planning major programs or R&D in biometric ID management.”
As the number of travellers grows, airports have started to turn to biometric technology. In October last year Delta Air Lines launched America’s first “biometric terminal” in Atlanta, which uses facial recognition to identify passengers as they proceed through the terminal. This allows airport processes to be sped up by allowing passengers to complete check-in and go through security or passport control without having to deal with a human agent.
Whilst many people now arrive at the airport already checked-in for their flight, a number of passengers who are unable to still need to be processed, especially if they have bags to check-in. Data from SITA highlights that at least 60 passengers can be processed per hour by a self bag-drop unit compared to 24 by traditional check-in desks. Not only can self check-in and self bag-drop kiosks reduce queues, they can save the airport cost and space, and provide passengers with a sense of autonomy. Self-boarding gates using biometrics with ID documentation, such as a passport, are also set to become commonplace over the next three years, with 59% of airports and 63% of airlines expecting to use them.
While speeding up the check-in process for passengers is obviously a positive outcome, it can lead to hold ups elsewhere in the airport. For example, bottlenecking at security gates. To ensure this doesn’t happen, sensor technologies can be deployed. International Airport Review explains that “these technologies help airports manage passenger flow by gauging people’s movement at critical points in their journey all the way to the gate.”
Sensor technologies can be used by airport operators to monitor a whole host of data such as passenger volumes and queue times. But can also be used to derive a wealth of information on passenger habits and their experience as they journey throughout the airport, with a view to make positive changes based on this data.
Transforming the airport experience
Passenger Terminal Today highlights that “technology can be transformative and create an airport that is both easy to navigate around and relaxing to be in. This is a far cry from yesteryear where people’s experience of airports where long queues, a lack of information and high stress levels were the common theme.”
With that in mind, it’s great that airports are focused on moving people around the globe as smoothly, efficiently and safely as possible.
However, airports are quite unique environments in that they operate 24/7 and so when it comes to making significant changes and renovations, it’s not as straightforward as simply closing down for refurbishment. Instead, any changes need to work alongside functioning business operations, with minimal disruption.
Our high grade internal hoarding system, Hoardfast, has been used extensively in airports to help solve this very problem.
Westgate’s temporary screening system boasts a range of benefits for use in airports:
- Clean white panels and a consistent seamless finish retains the aesthetic look of the airport and passengers experience
- Modular design means that systems can be used in bespoke setups easily
- Install and demount on multiple projects or phases, creating less waste
- PVC panels are sustainable and are fully recycled by Westgate at the end of their lifecycle
- Stability options are available to assist with crowd loading to comply with health and safety regulations
- Reduced noise from building works when sound rated panel options are used to minimise disruption to passengers
- Up to 70% time saving on installation over timber constructions, with the addition of no painting and finishing required
- Choose delivery and collections when needed from large UK stocks
- Fire rated panels help comply with health and safety requirements
- Hire or purchase options available
If you’d like to learn more about our internal hoarding for airports, contact us at Westgate.
Image source: https://www.freepik.com/4045