Technology has always been at the heart of air travel. But in the past 10 years it has assumed an ever greater role in the running and management of airports. They have become intricate and highly advanced technology hubs, whose management requires particular skills.
We’ve seen this evolve in succeeding issues of the Airport IT Trends Survey, to the point where we have today’s sharp focus on helping passengers connect to the airport, their airline and all of the other agents with whom they have contact during their journey.
For operational management, the immediacy and speed of innovation that is the hallmark of the new technologies poses new challenges – particularly if you set that against the gestation period generally required for new airports or terminals.
Think back to the technology of 20 years ago and then think ahead 20 years: if you’re planning a new airport today, what kinds of technology are going to be linking airports, airlines, border agents, retailers and other stakeholders to passengers? How do you factor in changes that cannot yet be imagined?
Our own work at AMPAP is demonstrating the value of bringing airport professionals together, to exchange experiences, learn new ideas and maintain a close network into the future. The lesson that I take from the latest Survey is that we all need to work closer together than ever as a sector if we’re going to enjoy the greatest benefit from these astonishing technological changes and the rise of the connected traveler.