Just a decade back a fully automated airport with no staff seemed something out of a science fiction movie. Today it is a reality. From Glasgow Airport’s trial with GLAdys, Shenzhen Airport’s operating security robot Anbot to the fully automated Changi’s Terminal 4 − the industry seems to be moving towards a completely seamless experience for passengers. Starting with biometrics and ending with customer service robots, what does the airport of the future look like and do humans need not apply?

Self-service to meet the increasing passenger capacity

Air travel demand is set to double in the next two decades to a staggering 8.2 billion passengers in 2037, according to the latest report by International Air Transport Association (IATA). While the forecast undoubtedly suggests economic growth for the air transport industry, the increase also poses serious challenges. Fast growth means air travel infrastructure – especially airports – is coming under increasing strain to meet the demand, pushing the industry to innovate in order to cut delays and increase efficiency. This is where self-service comes in.

To meet the capacity in the past decade airports have been implementing self-service with great success. According to a recent study, thanks to self-service kiosks, passengers waiting times have been reduced approximately by 30%.

From self-check-ins, baggage drop offs to functioning as information desks, the self-service kiosks shorten waiting times for customers and reduce the need for ticket agents. That, in the long run, not only cuts down costs but also leaves the staff to focus on more complex tasks.

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