The future of air travel is both exciting and challenging. One of the greatest challenges is how we get from today’s airport to achieving the future airport – do we have a future ready airport?
Together, Arup and GVK explored this under Arup’s Future of Air Travel (FOAT) program and identified nine implementable pilots as the stepping stones to the future-ready airport. They are game changers for how airports can work in the next one to five years. Passenger Terminal Expo 2018 will be the first time these innovations will be shown in public, when GVK and Arup take a deep dive into one of these pilots – the Zero Touch Terminal.
As the aviation industry seeks to draw on the benefits of new technology, such as using blockchain to protect sensitive information, and seeks to improve its return on investment by planning ahead for emerging trends like autonomous vehicles, there is a lot of thought given to what the future airport might look like.
In 2016, the industry talked of what the Internet of Things meant for airports and airlines. In 2017, the circular runway concept captured our attention. This blue-sky thinking is critical to driving innovation. But how do we get from where we are today to what we are confident will be the norm in the next two to three decades?
Many of today’s major capital developments aspire to be innovative but many of the concepts being considered are still just that…concepts. The alternative options are to be first adopters or, as more commonly happens, we revert to the same model of delivery with incremental upgrades in the infrastructure and system performance. The purpose remains the same.
In 2017, using Arup’s FOAT program, GVK and Arup challenged those options. The FOAT methodology provided a platform for bringing to life current thinking, identifying new ideas and driving innovation. The delivery was customized for GVK’s target timeframe and drawing on in-house digital and aviation expertise, and external ‘disruptors’, we unlocked today’s challenges and found ways to use today’s infrastructure and process differently.
The methodology resulted in nine pilot program ideas – all implementable, all giant steps toward the future airport. More importantly, they were all about making GVK airports future ready. The value of the methodology is its ability to produce innovative but tangible outcomes from something as abstract as ‘the future airport’.
Stacey Peel from Arup and Ashwini Thorat from GVK will be exploring The Zero Touch Terminal during the Airport Design, Planning & Development stream at Passenger Terminal Expo. This will be the first time the idea will be presented outside the FOAT program, and discussing how its methodology has contributed to GVK Airports being future ready. Peel and Thorat will be speaking on March 21 at 10.55am.
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