China’s airports are using self-service and other leading technologies to manage increasing passenger numbers which rose by 11% in 2014 and continue to rise. This is according to the 2015 SITA/ACI Airport IT Trends Survey. It reports that 100% of the airports surveyed now provide self-service check-in kiosks. By 2018, 77% will offer kiosks for self bag tagging and 68% will offer unassisted self-service bag drop and boarding. This indicates a strong progression to an end-to-end self-service passenger experience in China.
The research results represent the views of major airports in China which together serve more than 60% of all Chinese airline passengers. In this year’s survey, 77% of Chinese airports rated passenger processing their number one priority, up from 53% last year. This demonstrates a greater emphasis on improving the traveling experience for passengers at the airport than seen previously.
May Zhou, Vice President, SITA China said: “Rising passenger numbers continue to present a challenge to China’s airports in terms of infrastructure and resources. There is of course much construction and expansion underway but it will take some time to match the growth in traffic. Meanwhile, technologies such as self-service, mobile and business intelligence can improve the passenger experience today.
“These technologies can help airports provide faster check-in, real-time updates, reduced queues and faster aircraft turnarounds. All of the airports surveyed expect IT budget increases in 2016 which indicates that passengers in China will enjoy the benefits of investments in smart technology for smarter airports over the coming years.”
Having a smarter airport means that operators must collect and use data to make better decisions. A majority of leading airports in China expect to put in place business intelligence initiatives over the next three years, particularly in areas such as passenger flow monitoring (82%) and airport operations (72%). This focus, mostly around passenger flow, once again shows the priority that airports in China are putting on passengers.
Improving the allocation of resources by tracking vehicles and other mobile assets around the airport is also set to become standard operational practice over the next three years and 90% of leading airports will have introduced this by the end of 2018.
A key area of investment by the airports is in mobile services for passengers. Flight status notifications via mobile are already provided by the majority of airports (77%) and 95% plan to offer them by the end of 2018. By then, two-thirds of airports (66%) also plan to introduce stress-reducing features, such as way finding and queue wait times.
Airports are also embracing social media and already 67% of China’s major airports provide flight status notifications to passengers in this way. This is well ahead of the global average (33%) and is expected to increase to 95% over the next three years. When disruption or flight delays occur these airports are also using social media to communicate with passengers. It is the number one communication service implemented today and by 2018 will be in place at 95% of the airports surveyed.
*These survey results will be discussed during a webinar taking place today at 10am (China Standard Time) register here. Further details on the 2015 SITA/ACI Airport IT Trends Survey are available in English and Chinese.