Increased passenger traffic and global capacity constraints will push airport IT spending to $4.63 billion by 2023, according to a new report from Frost & Sullivan.
“Digital Transformation in Airports” explores the development of digital transformation roadmaps by airports to address key performance indicators in all areas of their operation, and the growth opportunities this creates. In Europe, the report says, physical infrastructure constraints are motivating airports to invest in digital operations, while in the Asia-Pacific region, airports are adopting innovations as a brand attribute and to enhance the airport experience.
The technologies driving digital transformation in airports, according to the report, are biometrics, blockchain, analytics, and artificial intelligence. Biometrics applications are focused on reducing bottlenecks by automating border control processes, and are now being introduced across all touchpoints as identity management for self-service kiosks, with the aim of making passenger journeys seamless. In the future, biometrics are expected to be enrolled at the first touchpoint, and then used at all subsequent touchpoints in the airport of departure, and potentially at the destination airport.
The value of blockchain technology to airports is as a trusted network for storing biometrics and other personal data, according to Frost & Sullivan.
“As airports transition to a data-driven infrastructure, there will be considerable investment in data analytics, storage, and security products and services. The industry will also witness the growth of end-to-end data platforms that consolidate airport functions and processes,” said Frost & Sullivan Senior Industry Analyst Renjit Benjamin.
David Menzel of SITA and the Secure Journey’s Working Group recently told Biometric Update that airport biometrics have reached a potential turning point, with the recent decision by the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority to invest in the technology at the Orlando International Airport. The WTTC has also been advocating for biometrics adoption in the travel industry, and recently agreed to partner with the IATA to harmonize biometrics for the travel and tourism sector.