Air travel and the aviation industry are changing. Worldwide passenger numbers are predicted to double to 5.9 billion by 2030 and economic activity supported by aviation is forecast to more than triple to $6.9 trillion[i]. As airports set out their plans for expansion in order to meet rising passenger numbers and to capitalise on the growing retail opportunity this presents, competition within the industry is fierce.
Against this backdrop, passengers are becoming increasingly savvy. As well as looking for the best possible service and deals from airlines, they are looking for a faster, simpler and more personalised service from airports. With over 20 international airports in the UK alone, passengers are able to shop around and make choices about which airport best suits their needs.
This puts greater pressure on airports to get to know their passengers and how they use their airport. It also puts pressure on airports to deliver outstanding passenger service and a key part of this is reducing or eliminating queues.
Four often cited key objectives for modern airports are:
- Increase operational efficiencies
- Maximise retail revenues
- Improve passenger experience
- Increase security effectiveness
How does biometric technology help an airport achieve these four key objectives?
Technology will have a key role to play in helping industry to meet these operational challenges and increasingly it is proven biometric technologies that are providing the solutions. Identity management platforms, powered by biometrics, not only have the potential to easily handle large numbers and deliver a personalised passenger experience, but also to improve security and operational efficiency through self-service automation and introduce new lines of revenue from non-aeronautical sources. Forward-thinking airports are already using these technologies to set themselves apart and be future ready.
It’s clear to see that the industry is moving towards a biometric end-to-end enabled airport – something that has the potential to make the passenger journey much simpler and more secure while also delivering huge operational efficiencies and non-aeronautical revenue opportunities for airports.
The key to success lays in collaboration between airports, their business partners and trusted technology providers so that proven solutions with commercial return through a focus on the passenger experience and differentiation at its heart. Through the increased adoption of such technologies airports will be in the best possible position to tackle the challenges of operational efficiency, growing passenger numbers and an increasingly service-conscious travelling and shopping passenger with confidence.
Returning to four most cited objectives, biometric technology can help your airport achieve these by:
- Improve passenger experience through a speedier and easier journey through the airport.
- Increase operational efficiencies by allowing improved staff optimisation, ensuring the correct number of staff to passenger ratios in key areas.
- Maximise retail revenues as happier passengers spend more!
- Increase security effectiveness through a smoother transition from landside to airside and by tying passengers to their identity documentation ensuring the right people get on the right planes and are allowed access to the right areas.