With a continuous increase in air passenger traffic, governments, airlines and airports are required to adapt their processes to maintain the safety and security of their operations on the ground and in the air. Passenger and travel facilitation is the cornerstone of a faster, seamless passenger throughput. It enhances security and improves customer experience and satisfaction. At a recent airports conference organised by Indian Infrastructure, industry experts shared their views on passenger facilitation at airports, emerging needs, best practices and new technologies. Excerpts…
Joeri Aulman, Region Manager, NACO & InterVISTAS
Remote bag drop facilities will increase passenger footfall in commercial areas, and enhance overall customer experience at airports. It is necessary to construct buildings that are resilient to changes and the cost of making those changes should be limited.
Arun Behal, Chief Operating Officer, GMR Hyderabad International Airport
The CCTV analytics system contributes to effective queue and apron management, meeting airside speed regulations, and preventing
mask and social distancing violations in the terminal building. One of the notable features of CCTV analytics is that it is significantly more cost-effective than sensor-based systems. The cost of these systems is approximately one-fifth of the cost of a traditional sensor system.
Johan Berhin, Founder and Designer, Green Furniture Concept
Biophilic design uses nature’s way of designing, with powerful effects on well-being and engagement. With the installation of the Biophilic design effect at the London Victoria Station, the overall passenger traffic has increased from 23 per cent to 80 per cent.
Adishesha C.S., Director, Collins Aerospace
Some of the passenger processing solutions are self-checks at kiosks, self-service bag-drops and bolder management solutions such as advanced passenger information. In addition, biometrics helps create a contactless journey. The future technologies will include electrified aircraft, autonomous operation, advanced structures and integrated solutions.
Lynn Gordon, Vice-President, Business Development, Arconas
Arconas has a global supply chain, with its main manufacturing base in Canada. However, it sources raw materials and design inputs from all around the world. Airports are investing heavily in infrastructure to supply power to seating, even though it is very expensive, and they are seeing incredible benefits.
Bora Isbulan, Chief Commercial Officer, Plaza Premium Group
It is expected that the total number of passengers travelling by air will return to the 2019 levels between 2023 and 2025. The future of airport hostility will focus on increased digital adoption, hygiene, sustainable infrastructure, travel with purpose, collaborative workspace and connecting with communities. Further, the smart travel initiative will provide a seamless digital customer experience. Basil Kilian, Consultant, BK Airport Services
To improve capacity handling and provide facilities for the passengers, Mumbai airport has embarked on various upgrades. Once the Navi Mumbai Airport project gets executed, it will become the primary airport in the Mumbai region.
Kjell Kloosterziel, Director International, Royal Schiphol Group
We should try to create airport infrastructure that is flexible and adaptable to changes. The passenger flow needs to be more automated and the technology will help a lot in the seamless flow of traffic.
Sampreeth Kotian, Head, Terminal Operations, Bangalore International Airport Limited
There has been an increased focus on passenger travel safety and maintaining physical distance. Bangalore International Airport has initiated several measures for contactless travel. For instance, a virtual information desk has been set up and passengers can scan using their mobile phones and directly get OTP to access Wi-Fi facilities at the airport.
Dr Sharad Kumar, Airport Director, Chennai Airport, Airports Authority of India
As part of its green energy initiatives, Chennai Airport uses more than 70 per cent of its energy requirement from solar power, thereby saving energy costs up to Rs 6 million per month. The Airports Authority of India is going ahead with its plan of transitioning to satellite-based air navigation services, including communication navigation and surveillance, air traffic control management, metrological services, and aeronautical information services.
Ben Van Leest, Senior Vice-President, Aviation, Transoft Solutions
Transoft Solutions develops innovative and highly specialised services for transportation professionals in the aviation and civil infrastructure industry. AVIPLAN software provides advanced aircraft manoeuvre and parking stand simulation and visualisation solutions. It has been deployed at all major airports in India. The AIRTOP terminal module is expected to be launched in about two weeks.
Paramvir Nagpal, CEO, Mapsted
Mapsted provides location-based solutions for a broad range of business sectors including transportation, banking and hospitality. Mapsted offers products such as location positioning technology, location marketing technology, and location analytics technology. These location-based services do not rely on beacons, Wi-Fi or additional external hardware, and work in traditional dead zones where travellers do not get cellular reception.
Jonathan Norman, Global Head of Airports and Airlines, Frost and Sullivan
With Covid-19, the customer profiles of airports have been changed. Also, there are changes in the way low-cost airlines are operating their businesses. India is becoming the perfect market for international airlines. Total Airport Management System is an upcoming concept, which encompasses the entire airport operations linking all the stakeholders on a single platform. Digital projects related to passenger processing, passenger flow, on-time performance, and baggage handling are emerging as priority areas.
Vasudevan S., Partner and Global Sector Lead (Airports), KPMG
The biggest challenge to integrate end-service providers is to get stakeholders on board and get real-time audits done by a third party. The standardisation of airports in terms of passenger profiles is necessary. In the near future, the design of terminals and adoption of technology will remain key focus areas.
Aman Saini, Airport Director, Surat Airport
Air travel is gradually showing signs of recovery as local restrictions are being lifted, with the Surat Airport passenger traffic movement returning to pre-Covid levels in March 2021. The Surat International Airport’s expansion plans include the extension of a terminal building, construction of a parallel taxi track, and extension of the apron at the airport.
Aryama Sanyal, Airport Director, Varanasi Airport
The upcoming projects at the Lal Bahadur Shastri International Airport include implementation of a passenger baggage trolley retrieval system, extension of the car parking area and development of two new aircraft parking stands. The commissioning of the in-line baggage system at the airport has facilitated the passengers to move forward up to check-in counters without any queue for baggage X-ray, saving time for both passengers and aircrafts.
Nitin Sawant, Head, Disaster Management (Enterprise Risk and Corporate Resilience), Bangalore International Airport
Kempegowda International Airport’s key Covid-19 mitigation strategies include single point coordination, delegation of authority, including financial authority, and quick decision-making based on rapid developments. Currently, the focus is on transforming emergency management into disaster management.
Manu Tandon, Vice-President India and South Asia, Elenium Automation
In the next 15 years, about 9 billion passengers will be added. There is a need for collaboration between airlines and airports. Some of the key drivers of digital transformation are capacity optimisation, operational excellence and agility. They will help reduce capex and opex, increase non-aero revenue generation and improve passenger satisfaction.
Ian Taylor, Aviation Leader, Arup
Airlines handled 4.4 billion passengers in 2018, with the International Air Transport Association predicting that this figure will double to 8.2 billion by 2037. The transition to sustainable aeroplane fuels, data-driven decision-making, increasing automation, and readiness to handle future shocks is the new normal for the aviation industry.
Anand Thirunagari, Country Manager, Genetec
Some of the common challenges faced by airports are operations and maintenance of multiple silos and emerging new threats beyond security. About 70 per cent of the security activities are common. The security threats can be efficiently handled using a unified approach as it requires maintaining fewer systems and servers, and no integrations are needed to rebuild after each upgrade. Genetec Security Center consists of three core modules, an access control system, a video management system and licence plate recognition technology.
Ashwini Thorat, Head, Design and Planning, Noida International Airport
Digitalisation and sustainability are the focus areas. Recent initiatives at the Noida International Airport include recognising trees for preservation, transplanting and utilising them to create the airport infrastructure. A twofold approach is being followed while designing the airport. First, responding and adapting to what is available in the market, and second, recognising what could come in the near future.
Girish V.G., Assistant Manager-Airport Operations, Kannur International Airport
Kannur International Airport has handled more than 0.78 million passengers from May 12, 2020 till September 30, 2021, one of the most challenging times in the aviation industry due to the Covid-19 pandemic. In order to enhance passenger experience, the airport authorities maintain relationships with their customers through their official social media accounts.