Day 2 at Passenger Terminal EXPO and CONFERENCE 2018, the world’s leading international airport conference and exhibition, proved to be even busier than the first with record numbers arriving at the Stockholmsmässan business center in Stockholm, Sweden. With more than 7,000 visitors expected over the three-day event, this year’s EXPO will be the biggest and best yet!
In the main hall, over 300 exhibitors have been showcasing the latest technologies and services in the airport industry including biometric security, automated baggage handling, adaptable seating modules, autonomous vehicles, self-service check-in and bag drop, and much more.
One new product innovation was Beumer Group’s new Reclaim on Demand solution and its new self-service bag-drop product. Reclaim on Demand has been developed to improve the tracking and security of arrivals baggage. The solution enables passengers to ‘pull’ their baggage from an automated reclaim system in the same way that the self-service bag drop automates the check-in process. Beumer’s new self-service bag drop extends tote-based baggage handling to the self-service bag-drop process.
Per Engelbrechtsen, business development director at Beumer Group, said, “The exhibition is a great place to showcase our latest products and ideas. The conference is excellent as it attracts some of the leading names in the aviation sector. It’s an extremely worthwhile event for us.
“I was hoping and expecting for a lot of visitors and interest in our new products and so far the interest has overwhelmed me. The people that have visited our stand today have been of a very high quality. We have had people who can buy our equipment and people who will use our equipment visit our booth, so there is a very nice mix of visitors from all areas of the airport world.”
Autonomous vehicle manufacturer Navya displayed one of its shuttlebuses in the main exhibition hall. Visitors could climb inside and explore the driverless cabin, which has enough space to accommodate up to 15 people. The vehicle has been fitted with navigation technology including stereo vision, GPS and infrared sensors. Running on a fully-electric motor, the vehicle can reach speeds of up to 50km/h and has an emergency braking system that automatically cuts in when required.
“We’re experiencing strong growth in the aviation sector,” said Herve Gentil, Northern Europe manager, Navya. “Most recently we agreed a deal with Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport and we’re in discussion with several major UK airports. They like the technology but also the sustainability that Navya shuttles provide.”
Seating manufacturer Tecno demonstrated its state-of-the-art seating concept Aeris, which has been developed in partnership with British architects Grimshaw. The seating is entirely modular with multiple seating configurations including recliners, padded seats, backless benches and specialist seats for passengers with reduced mobility. The seating units can also be fitted with the latest power units. Most notably, Tecno can fit the Aeris seating units with IoT sensors that detect and record when a seat is being used. This helps airport operators and designers with flow analysis and helps optimize the use of space in the terminal and gate areas.
“Visitors have really enjoyed learning about the different seating configurations and there’s been a lot of enquires about the bench configuration,” said Tommaso Mosconi, business development manager/CEO, Tecno. “The application of IoT to airport seating is completely innovative and provides our partner airports with valuable insight into their day-to-day operations. The technology is highly reliable and be easily incorporated into our Aeris seating configurations.”
Tecno is currently working with Milano Linate, Milano Malpensa, Hamad Doha, Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, El Prat Barcelona, Buenos Aires and Singapore Changi airports to implement its seating systems.
First-time exhibitor Photo-Me showcased the latest in biometric facial scanning technology with its 3D camera and boarding gate solution.
The innovative camera captures a detailed 3D picture of the person’s face, which can then be used as a biometric token to pass through security.
Some biometric security gates can take a long time to compare the passenger’s image against their 2D passport photo, especially if that person is moving or standing too close to the camera.
However, with the Photo-Me camera and boarding gate the process is seamless and can process the passenger’s facial details and walking pace and without looking directly at the camera.
“Our 3D camera and software solution is a fully-functioning product but the automated security gate is still a bit of a prototype,” explained Hung Do Duy, business development director, KIS Security Solutions, Photo-Me Group.
“This is mainly to show airports and visitors what the solution can do. We’re aiming to make it more compact and we’re keen to work with airport partners to integrate the technology with their existing setup.”
Architecture and planning specialist ADP Ingénierie has developed a virtual reality solution to assist clients when co-designing projects or providing training and baggage-handling upgrades.
With these VR use-cases, visitors were able to put themselves in a Paris-Orly air-traffic controller’s shoes to understand the technical nature of visibility studies. Visitors could also navigate into a baggage-handling system to understand the power of VR in terms of technical design and training.
“We wanted to develop new services that complement our client offering,” said Gratien Maire, CEO of ADPI. “It’s about moving from engineering and planning activity to also providing consulting services that ensure long-term partnerships with our clients.”
Passenger Terminal CONFERENCE
The Passenger Terminal Conference once again attracted a large number of delegates. Today’s presentations covered everything from airport cities, design and development, security, retail and concessions to passenger experience, sustainability and digital transformations.
In the Customer Service and Passenger Experience session, Jan Richards, head of insights and planning at Dublin Airport, spoke about understanding the 2020 passenger. The presentation, which attracted a huge crowd, looked at how global trends, such as population growth and changing demographics, are shaping the future of the airport.
Richards said, “Passengers demand a memorable experience. This experience needs to be high-impact or it will be forgotten. It also needs to meet the different needs of passengers. Changing demographics will make this difficult. At Dublin Airport, for example, the over 50s represent 30% of passengers. This figure has increased in recent years so we need to think about how to adapt.”
In the same conference session, Dr Bjoern Becker, senior director of product management at Lufthansa Group, spoke about how the airline has leveraged digitization to improve hospitality services. One example presented illustrated how it has automated check-in for certain passengers, meaning the traveler no longer has to check-in themselves. The airline performs the task automatically and sends the boarding pass directly to the passenger. Becker also told delegates how automation has helped the airline improve aircraft boarding speeds. “We can now board an A380 in around 20 minutes,” he said.
Another innovation presented by Becker was a new bag-tagging process, where passengers simply scan their boarding pass and a bag tag is automatically printed. “The traveler doesn’t have to interact with the machine in the same way as traditional self-service bag-drop processes,” said Becker. “Bag tagging has been taken away from the bag-drop process to make it faster. Traditional bag-drop solutions took approximately 107 seconds. With the new process bag drop is performed in around 20 seconds.”
Meanwhile, in the Commercial Development, Retail and Concessions session, data-driven loyalty was the theme of the afternoon. Melvin Broekaart, managing director of Aircommerce, spoke about how the future of airport retail is changing. According to Broekaart, airport retail spend per passenger is decreasing so airports need to be more creative in how they attract traveler spend. “The future of airport retail is absolutely different to what we are used to today,” he said.
Broekaart gave examples of how different brands are starting to see the value of airport retail. For example, a pop-up barber shop recently set up in Amsterdam Schiphol to provide passengers with a unique experience.
Following this presentation, Graham Bradley, loyalty program and propositions manager at Heathrow Airport, spoke about customer experience excellence through data-driven loyalty. As part of this project to better engage with passengers, Heathrow aims offer the best airport service of any airport in the world. Heathrow has created a centralized data source combining data from various areas of the airport, such as parking, check-in and retail, to better predict individual passenger preferences and expectations.
Passenger Terminal Expo and Conference will continue tomorrow (Thursday, March 22), so make sure you don’t miss out on the last chance to visit this year’s record-breaking event!
Feedback from the show floor…
“We’re interested in various systems and applications for Prague Airport so Passenger Terminal EXPO provides an excellent opportunity to speak with new and existing suppliers to see the latest solutions and what they’re working on. We can then look at possible replacement technologies and think about how they can be incorporated into the airport going forward,” said Josef Vesley, director of central application support, and Jan Pavlista, application specialist Czech Aeroholding.
“I’ve been with the railway industry for many years but I’m now changing to airports so it’s my first time at the show. As a newcomer to the industry, it’s been a great way to learn more about the industry and to familiarize myself with the latest technologies,” said Konstantinos Vasileiadis, chief railway inspector, Euclidis, Greece.