Airports have always been at the forefront of innovation, experimenting new technologies faster than most other industries in their pursuit to enhance operational efficiency and passenger experience, experts said at the Airport Innovation & Development Conference at the Global Airport Leaders’ Forum (GALF) at the Airport Show.
Delivering the keynote address Mohammed K. Al Modaifer, Strategy Management Office director of Matarat Holding, Saudi Arabia, highlighted the role of Matarat during the Covid pandemic and said that “We saw the pandemic as an opportunity to maintain a smooth cargo movement of medicine and food items.”
“We are encouraging public-private partnership to boost the passenger and cargo capacity of our airports. Our aim is to increase the cargo handling capacity from 800,000 tonnes of to 4.5 million tonnes. We are expecting 330 million passengers across the Saudi airports as we recently established a free zone in Riyadh to attract big companies to invest.”
A panel deliberated on the advances in integrated, automated, electric mobility in the airport environment. With the expected boom in aviation over the next few decades, airports, ground handlers and ANSPs will be required to match capacity expansions at airlines. Expansion comes at a huge cost, financially and to the climate. Aviation has therefore been increasingly looking towards integrated, automated, electric mobility to minimize costs and enhance efficiency.
Passengers around the world are becoming increasingly demanding on service levels and experiences at airports. Social media allows travellers to comment, like and dislike their experience and share it with millions instantly.
Latest innovations in technology that can provide an opportunity for airports to thrill and entertain their passengers:
Addressing a panel discussion: Adopting data, AI, 5G and robotics to rethink the passenger experience, Tom Eskola, vice president & general manager, Panasonic Avionics Corporation, said: “Today’s technologies in the field of aviation have been playing a major role in the enhancement of passenger experience from planning to setting foot on aircraft to choosing on-board services like entertainment and food.
“Data collected by various technologies are helping the ground staff to improve the services as well as to take necessary advance measures.”
Jacques Khoriaty, Middle East chief commercial officer and Aviation Director, Egis, said: “The connectivity by mobile applications has been playing key role in passenger experience as data generated by various sources are being used to formulate policies.”
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