March 28, 2016

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Passenger Flow Monitoring Key for Airports of the Future

Worldwide, passenger numbers are predicted to double by 2030. Airports around the world have set out their plans for expansion to cater to these rising numbers of passengers and capitalize on growing retail opportunity this will present. Meanwhile, the passenger, the most important stake holder is also becoming smarter and constantly looking for best possible, faster, simpler, and more personalized services from airlines and airports.

It is clear that the airport industry is looking for technologies which have the potential to make passenger journeys simpler and more secure. While delivering superior passenger experience, airports must also look to improve operational efficiency and increase non-aeronautical revenue. Basic requirements for better customer experiences at the airport are - speed of baggage delivery, ease of check-in comfort at the airport terminals, and time taken for security checks. Experience in these areas can make or break passenger experience. It also determines how much time the passenger has spent in the retail area and consequently how much money they will spend.

It has been observed that airports around the world are adopting passenger flow management to improve customer experience. Technology is providing different workable solutions for effective passenger flow management.

Beacons, Wi-Fi triangulation, thermal imagining, video analytics, facial recognition, RFID/NFC, and laser counting are some of the technologies which have been looked at by airport depending on their size, business needs and allocated budget.

The key objectives of an airport are:

  • Improve passenger experience
  • Increase security effectiveness
  • Increase operational efficiency
  • Improve non-aeronautical revenue (retail revenue)

The use of passenger flow management systems allows airports to meet these objectives considerably. Hassle-free transfer of passenger from landside to airside improves the passenger experience, reduces the pressure, and increases airport security effectiveness. Real-time and historical analysis of data allows airports to proactively plan operations, avoid possible bottlenecks, and put optimum number of resources at the right place and right time.

Happier passengers spend more time in the retail area, giving a good chance to the airport to increase their non-aeronautical revenue. The North American Airport Survey indicates that an extra 10 minutes spent at security may reduce passenger retail spend by 30%. Alternatively, satisfied passenger spend on an average increases up to 45%.

By putting passengers at the center of the operations and not compromising security (rather been enhanced) airports can easily achieve highest customer satisfaction standards. The key to success is effective collaboration between airports, airlines, ground handlers, governing authorities, and trusted technology partners such as HCL.

HCL’s capabilities in Application Development across multiple business lines can help our Aerospace partners to adopt right technologies and prepare airports for higher load factors and greater passenger expectations.

HCL’s capabilities in Application Development across multiple business lines can help our Aerospace partners to adopt right technologies and prepare airports for higher load factors and greater passenger expectations.