Technology and aviation are the future of the air transport industry, and many airports are now planning to follow the pattern. There is a compelling vision for improving a lot of innovation and other breakthrough technologies. The transformation of apps, parallel reality display, and captivating entertainment options will come into the limelight. The AI machine learning operations in different platforms have to be taken care of without any issues. However, many people believe that the airport industry’s groundbreaking developments will disrupt the happenings inside the airports to an extent. The personal experience of the passengers can be enhanced by sacrificing some other essential factors. Let’s take a look at the ten technologies that will disrupt the airport industry by 2021.
1. Robotics – from self-driving guide robots and autonomous vehicles to avatars and delivery drones
Automation is gaining a lot of momentum in the aviation industry, and there is a rapid advancement in robotics. Nowadays, many robots are seen inside the airports, and the technology used in the manufacturing of robotics is costly. The airport industry has to handle all the expenses one by one, and it may lessen their revenue. Many self-driving robots are helpful for luggage transportation. The airstair robot at the Incheon airport is becoming increasingly popular, and the AI-powered robots will win the hearts of many people. The robots are also helpful as they guide the international tourists to understand the routes of Incheon airport, and they are like the saviors of many. The robots in the terminal will help the passenger manage their luggage with a lot of conveniences.
The Hague Airport in Hong Kong has further improved the efficiency in handling the baggage process and enhances the working at the Airport. We are most likely to hear about this technology in the coming days as well. There is a rise in the use of autonomous vehicles and drones tested for a few years now. Delta Airlines is the current Georgia tech partner, and they have been developing such robots and avatars for delivery drones. Drone delivery becomes increasingly popular, primarily in Canada, and the cargo deliveries are handled quickly with this innovation.
Drones are also used to deliver food to the guests at the hotel in Amsterdam. Japanese Airlines is currently developing many new platforms and innovations, so robots and delivery drones can be enormous. They have already been working hard to bring avatars, and it will impact the lives of 7 billion people worldwide. Many fans planning to experience Tokyo Olympics 2020 will give them a wonderful experience through robotics on the seats.
2. Digital Twins
Digital Twins is another widely discussed topic at various conferences. SITA Lab is currently working for Digital twins’ full functioning, but it is going to be very expensive. The US coast airport is trying to incorporate this into their airports, and the 3D interface will be used to display them onscreen. They have to improve the vision and the decision making and bring out a good view of airport operations. It is an excellent way to show the passengers of what is happening around the Airport and relive the memories from the past and play what will happen in the future. It is an effective way to handle disruptions in the travel industry and airports. The full potential of digital twins is built very wide and deep.
3. AI and Machine Learning
During the past few years, airports had been concentrating a lot on AI and machine learning. All of them are showing outstanding commitment and have now realized the true potential of Artificial intelligence. The airlines and airports are now adopting chat bots, and they are helping passengers improve the operations for a long time to come. Last year Air-Asia was working hard to deliver the best of AI and machine learning. The airlines have been claiming that millions are being invested, but the flights and crew have to follow necessary restrictions. The employees will become less as the robots and other essential details have taken over the airports. The smart tail assignments, managing, and solution of disruptions will take the airports to a new level. The employment in the airport sector will become low and it will affect the jobs too.
4. Virtual reality & immersive experiences
Airlines are a saturated market, so VR and immersive experiences can become real differentiators in determining the facts. There is a raft of announcements taking place in this space, and a lot of money has to be invested for it. The leading virtual reality suppliers and in-flight VR attraction for several airlines have enhanced their portfolios. The application offers a 3D seat map. It will take the passengers to a whole new level. SunExpress Airlines and Evelop Airlines are incorporating this setup into reality.
The brand and marketing manager of British Airways is testing its latest technology for its new aircraft. It will give an engaging experience to both external and internal audiences. The project was initially built for a good understanding of the passengers, but now the technology is implemented by many airlines. Emirates, Evelop, Austrian and Eithad Airways are also following these details regarding technology. They have to hold a partnership with the VR departments so they can handle everything according to the new plans.
5. 5G – 100 times faster than current 4G networks
Recent developments in 5G technology and many countries like the USA and South Korea have already incorporated it. The innovation will change the business outlook, and it has become a necessity for now. The technology will lower the latency of data to remain instrumental in satisfying the needs of fast connectivity insights. The data can easily be shared with the connected aircraft as there is a growing demand for a better in-flight experience. Manchester Airport has become the first Airport in the UK that has now offered 5G technology to passengers. Vodafone has also installed 5G technology, and looking at all these things; other airports are now competing to have it on their airports.
The 5G enabled blast pod at the terminal of Manchester Airport, and the travelers are allowed to test this super-fast technology. They can download films or have their best television programs onscreen and enjoy them during travel. The mobile devices have become four times stronger than 4G, but 5G has been speculation for many years.5G is now being used in South Korea, China, and the US, and they are leading in this regard, so now all the other countries have to compete with them accordingly.
6. Inflight Connectivity – a real opportunity to drive conversion
The flight connectivity industry’s future is very bright, and it is growing with the number of airlines seeking a better opportunity. The in-flight experiences have to remain radiant, so it stays relevant for many, and the demand is driving a real step towards change. Everything is handled in terms of quality the Connectivity has to offer. The sky-high economics report has already been identified, and the vast markets of 450 million passengers are currently tied with traditional thoughts.
The new generation plans to switch for high-quality Wi-Fi instead and they are not interested in conventional methods anymore. According to this report, $33 billion shares have to be invested in in-flight Connectivity, equivalent to 6% of total market share. Many airlines like Qatar Airways, Norwegian airways, and Air Asia have invested much in-flight Connectivity. The investments in Connectivity have to go through the test of time, and all this will help the passengers to launch real-time offers.
Biometrics technology has been receiving special mentions in the trending reports for many years now. It is gaining a lot of momentum, and the full potential regarding the technology will be covered by 2021. More airports will now adopt facial recognition mobile apps to make the check-in processes easier. Madrid Airport has now adopted these technologies so the customers can enjoy a general and fast track security control at the boarding gates. The biometric profiles will help eliminate the suspicion among people as everyone boarding on the flight will be checked. They don’t need to show their travel documents as biometrics have all the essential details to be covered. The implementation of biometrics is getting paced up, but many challenges and misconceptions are surrounding it all. The privacy issues, integration, misunderstandings, and trust between all parties take a little time to implement.
2021 will be a crucial year for the aviation industry, and they have to ramp up their sustainability effort. The Aviation industry contributes to 2% of carbon emissions worldwide, and according to IATA, the number can double in the future. The air traffic has to satisfy the demands of 8.2 billion passengers, and the growth will increase in the future. There have been many international agreements among various countries so that the carbon emissions can be held with ease. The domestic and international flights have to become carbon neutral, and the flights have to fly with aviation fuel, especially at the San Francisco International Airport. Some airlines are heavily dependent on single-use plastics, and five million tonnes of waste is created in one single year. Talks will develop commercial air taxi services, and Singapore will manage the urban air mobility by 2021.All such innovation prove that the new technology has arrived but many different types of disruptors are creating an issue for air transport industry.
9. Assistive Tech – self-driving electric wheelchairs and accessible IFE
There is a dire need for technological developments to bring out a much-needed change in the way airlines have been assisting their passengers. The partnerships with the Panasonic Corporation will help airports test the latest generation of self-driving wheelchairs. It will help the disabled move with a lot of conveniences. There has to be a far-reaching plan to increase the self-driving electric wheelchairs and make them more accessible. The Tokyo International airport has started getting the electric wheelchairs for the passengers, but they will have to increase it by 2021. The Eithad Airways and Abu Dhabi Airports have been working hard for a high technology level, so the trails they made involved around 60 passengers.
They tested self-driving electric chairs and navigated the crowded areas before arriving towards the flight safely. However, technology is only a small part of this equation, and it is beneficial for airports to invest in new infrastructure, facilities. At the same time, a lot of importance has to be given to the training staff. Providing a seamless experience to the disabled is challenging, and the industry has to put up many more efforts.
10. Hearable, wearable & voice technology
Google Glass has not been an impressive idea for many passengers, but the air transport industry is still working towards it. Srilankan Airlines have been making the most efforts and has teamed up with MAS holding, and it will help the passengers feel more relaxed. The technology will help accessible communication between flight attendees and pilots. All Nippon Airways has now introduced a new level of a hearable device called BONX grip, which has combined a high Smart technology level. Voice technology is already in everyone’s home, and they are now going to take over the airports. The technology has to mature on various levels.
Only then will it turn out to be more useful for everyone involved. Many American airlines will be offering real-time communications by 2021. The passengers have to board on a flight while using these technologies and the VR will add to it. The translations for about 29 languages will be provided to people from various countries. Flying cars are also the most recent innovation in the air travel industry. Melbourne is the first city to introduce host trials for Uber Air but the commercial operations will be brought by 2023.The real question arises that are the airports and airlines ready to adapt to these changes? Will there be a time when a new travel eco-system is fully implemented? Only time will tell what the passengers have in store.