Passenger Terminal Expo Closed with Record Attendance

Passenger Terminal Expo 2015

Passenger Terminal Expo

“With over 4,500 attendees, 1,350 conference participants and more than 180 international exhibitors, Passenger Terminal Expo 2015 is breaking new records and breaking new ground,” said Tony Robinson, CEO of UKIP Media and Events, organizers of the event. In our first post (refer to link), we focused on some of the new technology that is being introduced in an airport of today and tomorrow.  This post will have some of the key concepts shared by industry professionals around the world.


Real Time Navigation

Airports are expanding, renovating or being built around the world. Two that stood out are new airports to be build in Beijing (refer to post on this airport) and Mexico City (Refer to the video below). Both would be able to handle more than 40 million passengers at their openings in 2018 / 2020 and are scalable to further expand to more than 100 million in the future.

To manage passenger flow, many airports are deploying new technology to increase convenience for passengers to navigate through the massive airport. Two that stood out were iBeacon and near field communication (NFC) which are used to decrease wayfinding issues experienced by passengers.

Both concepts work similarly by implementing sensors in key spots (e.g. gate areas, food vendors, washrooms, etc) which will feed data to the airport operator or passengers with location details.

Passengers can use a designated application from the airport or airline to navigate around the airport in real-time using their preferred language. This will greater reduce the time it takes to move around the airport and avoid confusion.

The airport operator can monitor traffic on key locations in real time. This data can assist in staff deployment, airport design solutions and gate management.

Airlines can monitor passengers flow in real time and use the data to place flights and amenities accordingly to maximize space and convenience.

Wayfinding technology has been employed by KLM (KL) at the Amsterdam Schiphol Airport (AMS) with good success (Refer to our blog post on this partnership and the video below for information).

Intelligent Check-In/Security/Boarding

To further ease congestion in the airport. Vendors are introducing new technology to decrease processing time at bottleneck points at check-in, security and boarding.

For example, Venderlande is building an all-in-one system for passengers who are completing check in and bag drop. This will alleviate the need for two separate lineups and reduce check in time.

Vanderland product
Vanderland product – smart check in technology – Image taken by Experience The Skies on March 10, 2015

Self bag drop technology has also been made more user friendly by BB Computerteknikk AS using supermarket like technology with a tag gun. Norwegian is one of the early adapter of this technology at its Baltic airports.


Self-check in and bag drop
Self-check in and bag drop technology from BB Computerteknikk AS – Image taken on March 12, 2015 (All Rights Reserved)

Other vendors are using camera technology as a way to track a passenger between the check-in, security and boarding process to reduce the number of manual verifications. Speaking with various vendors offering this technology at the Passenger Terminal Expo, all have said that they will not keep any passenger data.


Security will continue to play an important role at airports. Beyond physical checkpoints being implemented, cyber security an increasing threat worldwide.

For airports that offer free WiFi service to passengers, they would want to ensure that access to the internet is provided by a network or server that do not have direct access to any airport operations. Individuals who gained access would not be able to interrupt any transport operations.

For airlines, they are proactively verifying their computing environment to ensure that gaps are detected and patched early. Cyber risk is no longer being considered as an IT risk only. It is a business risk which require more top-down management involvement.

In the US, the Department of Homeland Security issued a policy in 2008 and declared the following eight Fair Information Practice Principles that it uses as founding principles for its privacy program:

Department of Homeland Security (Guiding Principles on Cybersecurity and Privacy)
Department of Homeland Security (Guiding Principles on Cybersecurity and Privacy) – Information taken from the Department’s website on March 15, 2015. Infographic created by Experience The Skies. (All Rights Reserved)

Airlines, airports and different regulators should work closely together to ensure that consistency is maintained on the enforcement of cybersecurity principles.


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