According to the Airports IT Trends Survey 2016 released yesterday (September 26) by air transport IT and communications specialist, SITA, the top three investment priorities this year are: passenger processing, passenger and airport security and operations.
The report also highlighted the tech trends that are gathering momentum right now and detailed how technology will continue to play a huge part in each of these key investment areas.
For example, passenger processing has improved with the introduction of sensing technology such as beacons, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth and allows airports to “gauge the movement of people and assets” around their facilities, thus improving overall operational efficiency.
This particular solution has become increasingly popular with 48% of airports aiming to deploy it over the next three years, which is a 30% increase since SITA’s last survey.
According to the report, a quarter of airports have implemented sensor technologies at checkpoint areas (a 17% increase compared to last year), while more than 10% of airports use the technology in retail areas, bag-drop points and at border control.
Another trend noted within the survey was the Internet of Things (IoT), which will experience significant growth over the next three years, also.
SITA highlighted China as the country to watch out for with regards to the IoT, claiming that: “Chinese airports are set to overtake their global counterparts in recognising the potential of the IoT”. The report states that by 2019 a massive 82% of Chinese airports would have fully included the IoT into their strategies, compared to 75% of airports globally.
Additionally, the desire to deploy new and emerging technologies, including: wearables for staff such as smart watches and glasses, virtual reality (VR) for passengers, single biometric travel tokens, robots, and wearable technology for passengers, are expected to increase over the next ten years, with over 50% of airports anticipating to pilot each of them.
Certainly, sensing technology is proving to be the most popular solution among airports with 74% of airports planning to trial context-aware and location-based technology in the next five years.
SITA explains that it will take longer for some emerging technologies to get picked up by airports, but wearable technologies (for staff) and VR solutions (for passengers) are already steadily advancing, with 54% of airports expected to try them out within the next decade.