Interview Spotlight: Michael Tan, President and Chairman, and Boudewijn Wellink, Interim CEO, Scarabee Aviation Group
With over 20 years’ experience in the aviation sector, Scarabee Aviation Group works closely with the world’s leading airports and airlines to develop unique, innovative passenger-centric solutions. In what is an exciting time for the airport industry, President and Chairman, Michael Tan, and Interim CEO, Boudewijn Wellink, reveal the company’s plans.
How can technology play a role in relieving the stressful elements of a passenger’s journey through the airport?
“It’s all about providing a holistic approach,” explains Michael. “Airports need to create a more passengerand user-centred experience.”
And this is where technology is vital. By optimising existing infrastructure and improving the efficiency of the technology within it, airports can balance premises, processes and technology. “Re-shaping the internal processes is key,” says Boudewijn. “Creating ‘seamless’ enables airports to use their available space efficiently. That’s an airport’s most valuable asset. You get that right and the capacity and operational challenges will start to fall into place.”
So what are the key trends driving this seamless revolution?
“We’ve seen many airports integrating security screening technologies with digital and biometric technologies to implement security and facilitate easier, more efficient and more enjoyable travel,” says Michael. And this trend has extended to carry-on baggage with the use of 3D CT scanners, which enable passengers to leave their liquids and laptops within their baggage. “It’s not intrusive,” explains Michael.
This approach extends to the ever-increasing use of self-service, too. Self-service bag drops have revolutionised the check-in process, and the ability to integrate screening technology with automated smart security lanes and self-service systems have served to transform what has historically been the single most unpleasant part of a passenger’s journey.
Scarabee has plenty of experience in this area. The company is renowned for its partnership with Amsterdam Airport Schiphol to develop the airport’s security filters. “We transformed the necessity of queuing and being searched to a comfortable and aesthetically pleasing part of the journey,” Michael explains. “There is no valid reason why security screening has to be hectic and stressful; on the contrary, a smooth and comfortable process allows anomalies to be more apparent and a calm passenger better understands the security process.
Following this success, the team has successfully installed Smart Security Lanes at some of the most forward-looking and rapidly-growing international airports in the U.S., including Houston George Bush Airport and Denver.
Moving beyond security, Scarabee’s vision extends into the baggage sector, as Michael explains: “The Dutch Post NL Baggage Service was introduced as a service for passengers travelling through Amsterdam Airport Schiphol. Building on self-service bag drop technology, a Post NL employee can collect luggage and scan a passenger’s boarding pass at their door step to check in luggage and transport it directly to the airport and on to the flight. What could be less stressful than baggage-free travel?”
According to both Michael and Boudewijn, this is just the tip, and we’re likely to see an increase in off-airport service solutions in the future.
Scarabee has grown quickly and successfully, and the company plans to build upon its position as an innovator with further investments in advanced technology and airport processes. “It’s an exciting period for us. Our holistic approach to airport solutions and the relationships we have formed have helped us achieve wide-scale success and unprecedented growth in recent years,” says Michael.
Boudewijn adds: “My mission as Interim CEO is to manage the fast growth of Scarabee and to restructure our operations throughout the group of companies. We have the full support of our shareholders and key business partners for this strategic programme. We are well positioned to expand even further and capture more of the global market.”
To this end, Scarabee expects to announce its next U.S. project with another major high-profile airport in the coming weeks. Watch this space…