TravHQ Note: The article below is a reproduction from Anupam Bokil, Vice President, Technology, Sabre Travel Network Asia Pacific. It is a commentary with insights on the use of emerging technologies in airports across Asia.
As dispensable income grows in Asia and Low Cost Carriers (LCCs) bring air travel to millions – airports infrastructure are being taxed heavily. Airports are turning to technology, be it the usage of mobile technology (as Asia sees a huge penetration of mobile devices), personalization or automation.
The benefits of technology investments in the travel industry extends beyond automation and efficiency; for the traveller, it means they are able to enjoy a more relaxing, seamless and hassle-free experience.
While some of the Asian airports have been slower to adopt new technology, the top 3 airports from Skytrax’s World Airport Awards 2017 were all Asian airports. The success of these Asian airports lies in their ability to put the traveller experience at the core, from the physical environment, to security and immigration. While specific operating models are vastly different, they all utilise a common underlying technology-based ecosystem consisting of adaptive architecture, personal engagement and sense of place, smooth connectivity, seamless intelligence and operational excellence to create a truly “smart” airport.
The airport of the future is an intelligent environment: connected, immersive, personalised and multisensory. Airports are experimenting with this concept in various ways, such as tailoring the complete airport operating model to suit specific airline and traveller needs.
For airports and all their stakeholders – including airlines, travellers, retailers and ground service providers – a number of key technologies are likely to catalyse the development of entirely new business processes, connecting biometric identity management, RFID-tracking, service robots and augmented reality.
Adoption of new technologies may still be an infancy stage in Asia but it is imaginable that they may soon become part and parcel of the travel industry.