Digital Transformation‭, ‬NEXTT

Digital Transformation‭, ‬NEXTT

The scale of future passenger‭ ‬and traffic growth brings into sharp focus the need for‭ ‬systems and processes that are up to the task of‭ ‬tomorrow’s facilitation‭, ‬security and sustainability challenges‭. ‬All participants in‭ ‬the ecosystem will have to become more responsive and efficient‭. ‬

The challenge for airports‭, ‬airlines‭, ‬air navigation providers‭, ‬service companies‭ ‬and governments is to manage performance and growth‭, ‬contain costs‭, ‬make better use of resources and find efficiencies‭, ‬all while‭ ‬improving the passenger experience and maintaining safety and security‭.‬

The‭ ‬rapid emergence of new technologies can lead to a new‭ ‬way of looking at airport capacity challenges‭. ‬Digital transformation is‭ ‬not only about technology but also about business transformation in‭ ‬a digital world‭. ‬

This includes both the implementation of new‭ ‬technologies as well as the integration of existing technologies‭, ‬processes‭ ‬and services to deliver a better experience to all stakeholders‭. ‬

Recognizing all these factors‭, ‬the Airports Council International‭ (‬ACI‭) ‬and‭ ‬the International Air Transport Association‭ (‬IATA‭) ‬have created the New‭ ‬Experience Travel Technologies‭ (‬NEXTT‭) ‬vision‭, ‬which pulls together the work‭ ‬that is being done in our security‭, ‬airport operations‭, ‬passenger‭ ‬and cargo facilitation teams‭, ‬on biometrics‭, ‬autonomous vehicles and digital‭ ‬transformation‭. ‬It seeks to ensure that stakeholders have a common‭ ‬direction‭, ‬and that all projects benefit to maximize interoperability with‭ ‬others‭.  ‬

The NEXTT vision looks at the transformation of the‭ ‬complete ground journey for all the elements that currently move‭ ‬through the airport‭ ‬–‭ ‬the passenger‭, ‬baggage‭, ‬cargo and the aircraft‭. ‬

While the transformation is not driven by one technology or‭ ‬another‭, ‬we do see several technology trends as key enablers‭ ‬for change‭. ‬

These include‭: ‬better use of data and communication‭; ‬predictive modeling and artificial intelligence to enable swifter real-time‭ ‬decisions‭; ‬the advancement of automation‭, ‬autonomous vehicles and robotics‭; ‬and‭, ‬“off-airport”‭ ‬processes via the use of digital identity‭.‬

There‭ ‬are already major steps in the right direction towards improving‭ ‬the ground journey at the airport‭, ‬such as the use‭ ‬of smart technology‭, ‬big data and enhanced collaboration‭, ‬here at‭ ‬Dubai International Airport‭. ‬

Despite being the world’s busiest airport‭ ‬for international passenger traffic‭, ‬DXB was able to reduce its‭ ‬wait times by 28‭ ‬per cent last year by working‭ ‬with the local immigration authority to improve performance‭, ‬enhance wayfinding‭ ‬and encourage passengers to use Smart Gates‭. ‬Passenger queues at‭ ‬immigration desks are now monitored through real-time dashboards with‭ ‬sensors published to the airport stakeholder through a mobile application‭ ‬to improve throughput and the passenger experience‭. ‬The ACI will‭ ‬continue to work with airlines‭, ‬governments and other role players‭.‬

Angela Gittens   Director General, ACI World

Angela Gittens

Director General, ACI World

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