As some of the world’s busiest locations, airports are overrun with millions of people on a daily basis. Courtesy of their ever-increasing efficiency, individuals, can travel with minimal interruptions and reach new destinations smoothly. The trade-off, however, is that airports spend more money on technology than one can possibly comprehend. After all, this is what enables them to achieve and maintain the necessary level of security and effectiveness. So, what are some of the most dominant technological assets that help keep these large facilities open? Moreover, how are these assets utilized from a business perspective to reach profitability?
According to the Chief Executive Officer of Annax Aviation Services, Tony Freudmann, artificial intelligence (AI) is slowly revolutionizing this market. It first appeared around 2017 when certain airlines began relying on things like chatbots for customer service. For those unfamiliar, these are the online-based software solutions that answer customers’ questions and learn over time from these interactions. That way, there is no need to have an actual representative who spends hours answering people’s questions. From a business standpoint, this allows airports and airline companies to save a considerable amount of money that would normally be used on an outsourced workforce. Instead, they made a lump-sum investment in their AI and, in turn, achieved a high level of modernization.
People who may have never flown out of a large airport may not truly understand the complexity of these facilities. The enormous space filled with countless routes, entrances, gates, shuttles, and so on makes it somewhat tricky to get around at times. This is where another popular trend called “augmented reality” has made an impact and simplified the way that people find their destination. Contrary to popular belief, however, augmented reality (AR) is not the same technology as artificial intelligence.
A great way to understand this is to think of AI as intelligent robots and AR as intelligent reality. Thus, while chatbots are a signature product of AI, having phone apps that tell one where to go while showing them the actual surroundings through their camera lens is an AR-based invention. Thus, one can simply load software on their smartphone and let it guide them through the airport. From a business perspective, this allows people to cut down the amount of time spent at the airport wandering aimlessly and creating traffic. So, airlines can expect a higher passenger turnover and a lower number of people who miss flights due to getting lost.
Over the last few years, the number of airlines that require their customers to do a face-to-face check-in has gone down tremendously. Instead, people can now take advantage of state-of-the-art automation offered by computers that check people in. For instance, instead of going through the process with a representative, one can do everything themselves as long as they have a passport or a flight number. Moreover, people can even measure their luggage to determine if it will be eligible for carry-on. These changes mean that individuals do not have to wait in incredibly long lines to check-in. So, once again, the passenger turnover and increased simplicity help airports run more smoothly while maximizing profits.
According to Tony Freudmann, baggage-related issues are generally the most overlooked concerns when it comes to airport ventures. Why? Because the vast majority of customers have very little idea about everything that goes into properly loading, transferring, and delivering their luggage. Luckily, things like RFID tags, enormous databases, and baggage scanning make it very unlikely to fall victim to lost items. In the future, airports are expected to adopt new technology that will make baggage tracking even better. That way, customers satisfaction rates will remain high, and costs related to compensating people for lost belongings will diminish.