Airports to Invest in Technology for the Connected Travelers

Airports to Invest in Technology for the Connected Travelers

Airlines around the world are investing in new technology to serve “connected travelers”, a major new study has found.

According to the results of the 2014 Airport IT Trends Survey by aviation technology company SITA and Airports Council International (ACI), improving passenger services is the number one IT investment priority for airports.

Forty-seven percent of airport chief information officers (CIOs) surveyed said they were focusing on IT infrastructure that improve the passenger experience. Self-service and mobile options are key areas of investment, with more than 80% of airports planning a project in these areas over the next three years.

British Airways – Automatic check-in kiosk at London Heathrow Airport

And it appears that airports also now have more money to invest in IT: 63% of CIOs said they expect to spend more on technology in 2014 than last year, and their total spend is estimated to reach US$6.8 billion.

“This is the age of the connected traveller with nearly all passengers carrying mobiles, tablets and other devices,” said Francesco Violante, CEO of SITA.”It is vital that airports invest in the infrastructure to support the changing expectations of these passengers. This year’s survey shows that the majority of airports globally are investing more in new technologies and mobile services for passengers in an effort to improve passenger processes and satisfaction.”

More multi-service kiosks, self-bag drop and self-boarding services will be introduced at airports around the world, as 86% of airports plan investments in this area. By 2017, nearly three-quarters of airports expect the majority of their passengers to use self-service check-in. Kiosks continue to be popular, with 60% of airports planning to increase their numbers in future.

Geo-location technology, which allows an airport to provide services in relation to where the passenger is at a particular time, is another of the initiatives popular with airports. Sixty-percent said they are planning geo-location programmes over the next three years.

Mobile investments continue to be a major part of airport IT strategies, with 84% investing in mobile apps for passenger services over the next three years. The most common mobile service currently available is flight status notifications, with 50% of airports offering it now and 90% planning to offer it within the next three years.

And by 2017 the vast majority of airports plan to expand their mobile app services to include such areas as customer relationship management (78%), way-finding (72%), security wait time notifications (73%) and retail services (65%). Airports also plan to increase CRM via social media.

The 11th annual edition of the SITA Airport IT Trends Survey is based on responses from airports that handled a combined total of 2.35 billion passengers last year.



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