Airport of the future

19 Nov 2014

Airports of the future - what will they look like?

As technology continues to rapidly evolve, technology-heavy airport terminals are set to evolve into quite different places to what they are today. So what will the airport of 2030 look like? That’s the question that a panel of experts at the FTE Global 2014 event in Las Vegas, recently debated. The changes, trends and innovations that will impact on the sector over the next 15 to 20 years, include:

The impatient, tech savvy traveller

The Gen Y traveller has less patience and is harder to satisfy, they move very quickly and have little tolerance for delays. They are also technologically savvy, tech reliant, adaptable and open to new innovations. Research has also found that future travellers in general, will want as little contact with people as possible, preferring to rely on self-service.

Creating an integrated experience

A more integrated approach between stakeholders will improve both the passenger experience and revenues. This could take the form of travellers pre-ordering their coffee, or being sent an alert because they have been upgraded. Technology-driven e-commerce will let travellers initiate processes from the minute they start their journey, right throughout the whole process. The key will be to develop a common e-commerce platform that all stakeholders can be easily integrated into.

Transparent, touch-screen displays

Think about all the glass that you see in an airport – advances in display technology will make this ideal for the use of transparent displays, while the use of touch-screens will also increase. Technologies that you only see in the movies today, where the glass is a transparent touch-screen, will become reality.

The conclusion seems to be that technology has the biggest role to play in shaping the airport terminal of 2030, but other changes will be seen in processing and aesthetics. One of the biggest challenges will be getting all stakeholders to adopt integrated technologies that are coherent and which everybody uses – from the airline, to the airport, to the ground handler. But ultimately it is about utilising technology to ensure the traveller has the best possible experience at the airport.


Source: Presentation by Rick Garlick, Global Practice Lead – Travel and Hospitality Group, JD Power