AITS 2019: Driving communication in the airport industry
The Airport IT and Security Conference is being attended by more airports than ever before, a situation which needs to be fully utilised to improve airport operations and customer experience.
The Airport IT and Security Conference (AITS) has opened on 25 September with a definite agenda to drive communication within the industry.
Taking place at the Hilton London Bankside, AITS has strived to bring airports from all around the world to discuss the biggest issues within the industry and share their challenges and experiences, bringing an unprecedented over 80 unique airports at the event to do just that.
In his opening speech, chairman of the IT Stream on day one, Maurice Jenkins, Director Information Systems and Telecommunications, Miami International Airport, Chair, ACI World Airport Information Technology Standing Committee, echoed that sentiment, encouraging those in the room to see what other airports were there and to be open about communicating with them.
“We would like to encourage people to communicate, to discuss business and what’s driving the industry to transform it,” he said. “There are over four billion people that will be coming through our airports and that’s set to double.”
Indeed, enhancing the customer experience is another theme evident throughout the Airport IT stream of the conference, with sessions about handling passenger flow, meeting passenger demands and utilising biometrics to create a passenger-centric ecosystem. The conference’s host airport, Gatwick, also placed emphasis on its passenger app during its morning session, as well as enabling stable IT operations.
There are also a number of case studies within the conference programme which will use real-life examples of how an airport is improving the customer experience. A case study from Hong Kong International Airport will discuss the application of different technologies to improve the passenger experience, covering the single-token journey, baggage automation, use of robotics, the transition to 5G and the introduction of autonomous vehicles in connection with customer service and creating cost efficiencies.
Furthermore, Incheon International Airport will reveal its smart airport plan at AITS which leverages automation to improve the passenger experience through a mixture of initiatives it has been implementing, including a walkthrough self-service security screening system, facial recognition technology-enabled SmartPass check-in and boarding.
Indeed, technology and the passenger experience go hand-in-hand says Jenkins: “Technology has to deliver three things to be truly successful: revenue, improve operational proficiency and enhance customer experience.
“We need to leverage technology and communication,” he continued. “And we can do that by communicating with each other today at the conference and looking at the challenges we are each facing.”