I’m getting ready to enjoy the Airports Council International (ACI) 25th anniversary celebration in Montreal. It is a great city with very strong connections to the air transport industry. It is of course home to ICAO and the headquarters of IATA and ACI. SITA too has a strong presence there. We have a team of 220, many of whom work from our state-of-the-art Montreal command center, where we monitor the world’s airline and airports 24/7.
It was around 25 years ago that I started working in the industry, and over the years I have seen how ACI has been a huge positive influence, fostering collaboration among partners. As a World Business Partner, SITA works closely with ACI on a number of global initiatives, including the annual Airport IT Trends Survey and Baggage Report. We are delighted to partner with ACI and at this year’s event we too are looking to the future.
And what a future! Back in 1991 we could not have imagined that nearly all of us would be carrying our own powerful computer in our hand as we travel. Now 95% of passengers have a smartphone or other mobile device ready to check-in and present their boarding pass, and they expect the latest flight and airport information and notifications delivered in real time throughout their journey.
Clearly it is the traveler who is redefining expectations for smart tech at airports. In fact, SITA’s latest research shows that today’s passengers prefer tech to people. Once they start to use kiosks, websites, mobile devices, automated gates and other self-service tech, few want to go back. And the future will only be more connected – we are now debating if whether by 2100 there remains a need for any human to human contact during the passenger journey!
SITA’s commitment to innovation for the air transport industry continues and will be on show in Montreal. We will have a fantastic demonstration of how airports can use the latest technologies to create a new experience for their passengers. From the fast, secure and seamless walkthrough experience of Smart Path to a stunning new way to interact with passengers.
So – if you are in Montreal come and experience the future with us. It promises to be a great celebration!