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One of the main needs air passenger is to get through the airport as quickly as possible with convenient access to updates in near real time. Airports are answering that desire by investing heavily in technology that improves passengers’ experience. This is the main conclusion of SITA’s tenth edition of the Airport IT Trends Survey. The annual survey tracks key technology trends and provides revealing insight into industry IT and telecommunications (IT&T) investment and strategies. In total 68% of the surveyed airports confirmed that passenger experience it the most important driver of IT investment (SITA, 2013).

HIGHLIGHT OF TECHNOLOGY INNOVATION AT AIRPORTS

The survey identified some key changes that passengers should look out for until 2016:

Self service check ins will be available at 98% of airports. Not only do they cut down the staff requirement of airports, but they also increase the speed with which passengers can check in. One of the major issues that need to be tackled by the industry however, is ensuring the accessibility of the machines.

Self-service luggage check in will be an innovation that we will increasingly see in the next years. European airports are particularly bent on the trend with more than 90 percent planning to roll out self-service kiosks with bag-tag printing by 2016.

Keeping flyers updated with mobile apps will ensure technology enhanced customer service at almost 95% of airports by 2016. A huge increase from the current 50% of airports that offer similar services. The focus of these apps is predominantly providing real-time information updates on flight stays, delays and gate openings.

Mobile payments: Mobile apps also provide airports an additional source of revenue. Only 18 percent of airports’ mobile apps currently exploit the retail opportunity, but based on airports’ plan to set up mobile payments for services like Wi-Fi and parking via mobile app, that number could increase to 63 percent by the end of 2016.

Mobile apps also provide airports an additional source of revenue. Only 18 percent of airports’ mobile apps currently exploit the retail opportunity, but based on airports’ plan to set up mobile payments for services like Wi-Fi and parking via mobile app, that number could increase to 63 percent by the end of 2016.

TECHNOLOGY CONTINUES TO DRIVE CHANGE IN AIRPORT EXPERIENCE

The study confirms that technology is at the heart of driving change in the airport experience. The airport often represents the least sought after experience in a trip, and leveraging the latest tech innovations to make this experience as smooth as possible enhances the overall travel experience of travellers significantly.

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