Airports have gone through a lot of development in modern history. Traditionally and practically, they were transitional points. However, recently they are being transformed into attractions to satisfy the demand of the customers. Perhaps, one day airports may become equivalent to actual destinations. Tourism-Review.com brings you the Top 5 Airport Trends worldwide.
Issues like terrorism or illegal migration have prompted airports to start investing heavily in security and all aspects connected to it. According to Global Market Insights, the global airport security market is predicted to reach a value of $16 billion until 2024. Airports plan to make the whole boarding process faster in a more customer-friendly manner, also guaranteeing utmost safety.
Technology will be the key to reach the desired goal. Scanning, face border controls, CCTV and much more will be slowly an everyday reality at airports. Another airport trend is the implementation of biometrics in air travel. Companies like JetBlue or Delta have been investing in fingerprint and facial recognition technologies. Some airports have already installed biometric self-service boarding gates, for example Heathrow. Biometric technology could also be used on board airplanes, which would make a flight perhaps more pleasurable.
Artificial intelligence is starting to dominate the tourism industry. The same obviously applies to airports and airliners. Many, for example Lufthansa, have launched chatbots capable of answering simple questions. Another example of technological progress is augmented reality. Some airports are implementing augmented reality wayfinding apps for passengers to help them orient better in the terminals.
Moreover, airports are increasingly using robots to help the travelers. Robots are expected to have their biggest impact in operational roles. Japan’s Haneda Airport is actively testing robots that are capable of serving in many aspects. Other airports have already launched cleaning robots or for example guide robots. There are countless opportunities when it comes to robotics and airports that should be gradually developed in 2018.
Society’s somewhat ecological modern tendencies could also bring a change to airports as well. However, many issues are connected to this possibility. For example, parks built outside close to the runway could cause a lot of problems to airplanes. Building parks inside is also a problem, considering the fact that airports use coated glass for windows as a precaution against sunlight.
It is still a long way to go, but some green projects have already been realized. For example, a butterfly garden in Singapore’s airport. Experts say that the concepts to make this idea work and a more regular occurrence need to be worked out in the future. The potential is big and the availability is there to create airports a greener place.
Not long ago it was not uncommon to see full parking lots at airports. However, recently the popularization of Uber and Lyft has somewhat vacated spaces for parking close to airports. As a result, many airports have been struck by big falls in parking revenues. Moreover, with technological progress and the implementation of driverless cars, more problems will arise. Airports will have to reconsider the necessity of having parking garages. Driverless cars will obviously also need parking spots, but according to experts the likelihood of owners sending their cars home rather than leaving it at the airport is higher. Thus said, the future of parking garages at airports is going to be a big question in the next couple of years.
One of the latest airport trends are the electronic tags. The way how luggage is handled is changing with technological progress. Some airliners are already trying to tackle the problem of immense numbers of baggage. For example, Lufthansa (in partnership with BAGTAG) has launched a re-usable electronic bag tag so that passengers do not have to purchase paper tags with each flight. American Airlines and British Airways offer a baggage delivery service in London, while Fiji Airways enables passengers to check-in their luggage already at their hotels. Moreover, in June IATA Resolution 753 will come in effect. It is a resolution that will oblige airliners to track baggage on the plane, into arrivals or into transfers. The goal is to reduce the number of mishandled baggage.