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Operating an airport means catering to the demands of airline companies, logistics providers, and everyday travelers. These common airport users have different requirements that airport operators have to meet. For instance, business and leisure travelers count on comfortable, intuitive, and stress-free journeys that can seamlessly transition them to their intended destinations. Meanwhile, companies that specialize in transporting goods expect airports to facilitate safe, timely, and cost-effective transactions and processes during their trips.
Living up to these expectations is often a tall order considering that airports serve a wide range of users with different standards and preferences. In an effort to improve operational efficiency and the travel experiences accessible to customers, airport operations and maintenance services providers are turning to modern technology used in business. Here are just a few of the technology trends that airports in the Philippines and around the world have begun to follow in order to level up their services.
Revolutionizing Air Travel: 6 Technology Trends Improving Airport Operations
Strong Focus on Sustainability
Today’s society is eager to adopt technologies that place equal value on sustainability and progress. This is not lost to airport operators. As such, many airports in the Philippines incorporate the use of eco-friendly designs and innovations into their facilities and processes. One example of this is Mactan-Cebu International Airport, the second busiest airport in the country.
The facility employs a passive design approach to control heat and maximizes the use of diffused natural lighting. It also features solar power generators to reduce carbon emissions by at least 130 tons per year. These, in turn, help the airport ensure that people and goods have access to optimal temperatures while keeping energy consumption at a minimum. Such sustainability frameworks may serve as a model for future airport developments in the country.
Automation and Robotics
Many airports in the Philippines are also quick to adopt automation and robotics into their systems and processes. These technologies are primarily used to carry out physically demanding or dangerous tasks that do not require complex decision-making and human intervention, such as sorting baggage, overseeing retail transactions, and answering basic questions from travelers.
The application of these technologies enables airports to adequately meet the needs of travelers, airlines, and air cargo transporters even during peak travel seasons. It also empowers airport operators to consistently collect customer data that they can use as a basis for refining the facility’s services and designing future features.
Biometrics and Digital Identities
Confirming a traveler’s identity is often a pain point for many airports. Done the traditional way, it typically takes a lot of time and energy to establish a person’s identity and verify their reasons for traveling. Biometrics or using physical features and measurements to identify individuals makes this important process much quicker and easier. The use of secure digital identities does the same.
These technologies enable passengers and business travel safety solutions to verify their identities even before they arrive at the airport or interact face-to-face with an airport official. This can significantly reduce the occurrence of delays and the time that passengers have to spend in queues without compromising the identity of individuals and the security and safety of each flight.
Collaboration with Startups
Many progressive airports are pursuing partnerships with tech startups that specialize in digital innovations such as machine learning, artificial intelligence, robotics, and automation. Working directly with fearless entrepreneurs who are actively pushing for technological advances gives airports easy access to cutting-edge technologies, which they can then let their customers experience firsthand. Partnering with tech innovators gives airports the best chance to build brand equity and set the standard that future travelers, airlines, and air freight service providers will come to expect from a modern airport.
Personalized Customer Experiences
Today’s customers are used to getting personalized experiences from the service providers they patronize. Airports can meet this expectation by using a wide variety of technologies that are geared toward customization. For instance, they can open an online platform where travelers can choose the specifics of their flight experience.
By giving customers the opportunity to set their preferences online, airport operators can help reduce queuing time in the airport itself without compromising individual traveler experiences. This also gives airport employees the time and energy that they need to fully engage with travelers who may need more personalized assistance during their journey.
Contactless Retail Experiences
Many airports cater to retail companies, and many travelers do last-minute shopping trips while waiting for their flights or luggage. The introduction of contactless retail experiences helps passengers maximize their limited shopping time, and it also helps boost sales for companies that choose to open shops in airports. Aside from letting customers shop at their own pace, the adoption of contactless retail systems enables brands to collect information about their customers and sell more products that meet the needs of travelers.
Embracing advances in modern technology helps airports set themselves apart from their competitors. By being early adopters of tech trends, airport operators can quickly offer tools that promise impeccable services and seamless journeys. This, in turn, will give them the means to earn the loyalty of the airline companies, travelers, and logistics providers that they regularly work with.