Nearly 300 international exhibitors were drawn from across Europe, the Middle East, North America, Asia and beyond to showcase their latest innovations, product launches, service enhancements and customer case studies at Passenger Terminal Expo 2023 in the RAI Amsterdam in the Netherlands. Running from March 14-16, 2023, the show was a resounding success, offering attendees three full days of intense networking, solution sourcing and intelligence, all in one place.
Highlights included a cutting-edge security lane solution that can achieve a throughput of 220-240 passengers per lane/hour; an airport security solution designed to deliver shorter wait times, an improved passenger experience and lower total cost of ownership; a low-cost bag-tag solution to help airports incorporate RFID tracking into their existing BHS infrastructure; and a passenger flow analysis platform that uses lidar data to detect, classify and track objects such as passengers and bags.
Meanwhile, more than 400 speakers shared critical intel across a conference program spanning nine dedicated streams. Leading sessions included presentations from London Heathrow’s retail director, Fraser Brown, who shared how the airport’s retail proposition has evolved through Covid-19 and where the airport sees travel retail heading, both physically and digitally; Navaid Ahsan, head of aviation security (AVSEC) operations at Etihad Airways, who presented a case study on the 2014 Karachi Airport attack in Pakistan; Deborah Flint, CEO of Toronto Pearson, who took part in the ‘Back to the future and beyond – a view from the top’ panel and revealed some key insights into future models of airport authorities; and Foster + Partners, outlining the King Salman International Airport masterplan and new terminal planned in Saudi Arabia.
The show started with a bang as Robert Carsouw, executive vice president and CFO at Royal Schiphol Group, delivered the opening address to a packed audience at the conference. He revealed the negative and positive effects that Covid-19 had on Amsterdam Airport Schiphol in the Netherlands, alongside ongoing operational issues at the airport and its plans for the future. Carsouw also detailed the impact that government regulations have had on the group’s strategic planning, plus Schiphol’s innovative projects and technology being implemented to drive the company’s sustainability goals forward.
The show also hosted the 2023 Skytrax World Airport Awards, in which Singapore Changi Airport reclaimed its crown as the World’s Best Airport. Changi also won the awards for the World’s Best Airport Dining, World’s Best Airport Leisure Amenities and Best Airport in Asia. Other winners on the night included Hamad International Airport in Doha, Tokyo Haneda Airport in Japan and Seoul’s Incheon Airport in South Korea.
New product launches
Veovo launched its AI-powered resource management system (RMS), which uses artificial intelligence (AI) and advanced decision support to optimize gate parking and resource allocation. Veovo’s RMS enables airports to predict which flights will be late, early enough to recover or resequence them, and foresee potential resourcing conflicts early enough to prevent them. Using historical big data, flight and people flows, rules and preferences, the system automatically builds robust resource plans. Dynamic models and simulations then help planners proactively understand the impact of changing operational conditions to optimize resource reallocations. These features are intended to reduce the number of inaccurate off-block times and late gate changes that cost airlines and airports in efficiency and on-time performance.
Zoeftig once again chose Passenger Terminal Expo to launch its latest seating update, displaying its curved nodes for the first time. These nodes form part of the company’s versatile, modular Vista seating system. The curved nodes are intended to provide areas for different passenger profiles, from the single business traveler to families and groups of all ages. Zoeftig’s system has been designed to provide an ergonomic, comfortable and flexible seating solution that is equally at home in lounges or departure gates, as well as in hospitality, corporate and other public settings. Due to the system’s modular design, it can be reconfigured by airports to suit scope and capacity.
Nooka Space launched its Nooka Air FireShield smart soundproof office booth at the expo. The booth features a self-contained fire protection system, smart access and control, easy payments, privacy, air ventilation and a customized mobile app to provide easy management of the space for a complete digital passenger experience. It is intended to improve the passenger experience while providing airports with additional revenue and competitive investment advantages. Nooka Air FireShield has been designed for airport waiting areas as it meets the latest airport requirements for safety and security and includes a complex fire protection system.
Ink Innovation introduced its new business division, Ink+, comprised of experts from key industries including transportation, smart cities, hospitality, travel and tourism. Ink+ is expected to provide insights into navigating disruption in the aviation field. The company also gave live demos of upgraded self-service units such as QuickTag Lite and Bag Drop. These changes are designed to improve the passenger experience and reduce operating costs, making it easier for airports to manage the growing demand for air travel. All units – including the Gate and Totem units which were on display – incorporate advanced biometric technology for a touchless passenger journey.
Cognitec introduced the updated version of its FaceVACS-Entry product, a lightweight biometric-enabled verification device suitable for installation in e-gates and kiosks. The technology takes standards-compliant biometric photos and compares them with digital facial images retrieved from ID documents or databases. Its instant camera positioning, active lighting and responsive user guidance have been designed to create optimal capturing conditions, accurate verification results and fast processing times.
Reinforcing its value as one of the best networking opportunities of the year, Passenger Terminal Expo also saw the formation of a number of important strategic partnerships.
Vanderlande and the Royal Schiphol Group signed a framework agreement to develop a new sustainable baggage system. According to the companies, the partnership will ensure operational continuity and improve the working conditions of baggage handlers while upgrading the baggage system. The baggage handling project is part of a wider plan to renew, renovate and innovate the baggage basements at Schiphol Airport in the Netherlands. The contract was signed by Sybren Hahn, director of asset management at Royal Schiphol Group and Andrew Manship, board member and executive vice president of airport and parcel solutions at Vanderlande.
Urban air mobility (UAM) provider Volocopter and SITA signed a partnership agreement to develop urban air mobility. Under the agreement, SITA becomes the latest investor to join Volocopter’s Series E funding round. The partnership is expected to lead the way in developing a sleek new operating model for air taxis that will define the way cities approach intermodal, integrated mobility in the coming years. According to the companies, UAM will offer a new form of sustainable aviation, replete with multiple mobility options, to cities worldwide. Volocopter’s launch product, the VoloCity electric air taxi, will operate routes in congested megacities to offer passengers stable, quiet and safe flights. Flights can be hailed via designated boarding points (or vertiports).
Assaia and the Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA) also announced a partnership whereby the aviation software company will deploy its AI-powered Turnaround Control solution to improve gate operations at Toronto Pearson International Airport. Assaia’s Turnaround Control technology is being rolled out at the airport’s 106 gates to support operational efficiency, improve safety and reduce environmental impact. The company uses a combination of AI and computer vision to track exactly what is happening around the aircraft in real time. The resulting data is used to highlight inefficiencies, which can then be addressed, and to provide accurate estimates of when the processes will be complete, to increase gate availability.
BagPoint Group and Cluster 2 rounded out the show with a partnership signing ceremony on Day 3. The companies signed an MoU to develop optimized solutions for baggage transportation services in Cluster 2 airports in Saudi Arabia. Cluster 2 is a subsidiary of Matarat Holding Company, based in Saudi Arabia.
Next year’s show
For more information and videos from this year’s event, click here. With the 2023 event a resounding success, dates have now been announced for next year: Passenger Terminal Expo 2024 will take place in Frankfurt, Germany, on April 16, 17, 18, 2024.
Nick Woods chief information officer at Manchester Airports Group (MAG): “Another excellent PTE, this time in Amsterdam. As ever, great to collaborate with global colleagues and our innovative supply chain – plenty to take back to MAG! Great conference! Until next year…”
Lindsey Richardson, senior program manager at Dignari: “This year’s conference focused on innovation, seamless travel/customer experience and collaboration. Our team came away excited about the new technology we saw on the show floor and inspired by the great programming. Innovation in the traveler experience space is accelerating at an unprecedented rate. We heard about digital identity and wallets in travel, one-stop security, remote and self-screening projects, and implementing AI and machine learning across the passenger journey.”
Kostas Dimitros, business development director at Parsons: “Three amazing days in Amsterdam representing Parsons Corporation at the Passenger Terminal Expo and Conference. Looking forward to next year’s event!”
Dr Christoph Selig, chief commercial officer and co-founder at Unisphere: “Back from Passenger Terminal Expo and Conference 2023 in Amsterdam, after an inspiring day on the AAM conference track. It is great to see the growing importance of eVTOL and vertiports in traditional aviation conferences. We look forward to the next few years where landing infrastructure and planning of air taxi services will continue to gain traction in the market and lead the industry toward more sustainable aviation.”
Sarah Stumpo, director at Anser Advisory: “Absolutely fantastic past few days at Passenger Terminal Expo and Conference! I had the opportunity to listen to multiple insightful panels and speeches, learn about the future of airports and developments in the industry, and network with professionals from all over the world. One of my favorite takeaways, and surprisingly a common theme, was designing for the airport employee experience (including but not limited to wheelchair attendants, ground handlers, food and beverage and retail).”
Michael Jee, executive general manager of sales and marketing aviation and intralogistics at Daifuku Oceania: “It was fantastic to catch up with so many people at Passenger Terminal Expo and Conference.”
Michael Jahn, a manager at M2P Consulting: “It was an amazing experience at the Passenger Terminal Expo and Conference in one of the most beautiful cities in Europe, Amsterdam. Today I was presenting the results of our M2P Consulting market study about why digital twins fail and how to achieve tangible benefits by implementing them with the right approach. Thanks to Terminal Expo and Conference for organizing this fantastic event and hosting us. It was a pleasure meeting many familiar faces. See you in Frankfurt at PTE2024.”
Kasper Hounsgaard co-CEO and founder at Copenhagen Optimization: “In my book – best Passenger Terminal Expo and Conference ever!”
Laura Ersini, student sales and marketing assistant at Copenhagen Optimization: “As a first-time conference attendee, I was thrilled to see and learn about all the innovative solutions developed by different airport industry leaders. It was an honor to represent our company at such a prestigious event.”
Michael Schneider, CEO of Siemens Logistics: “Passenger Terminal Expo is one of the most important yearly events in our industry in Europe. We are happy to be here again to show our technologies, enjoy the great atmosphere and interact with customers. The industry is on the upswing, and we are very much looking forward to the personal exchange with visitors, our customers and partners.”
Yannick Beunardeau, senior vice president of airport and airline operations at Amadeus EMEA: “It’s a pleasure to be at Passenger Terminal Expo and we’re keen to welcome more colleagues from airports, ground handlers and airlines to visit our stand. We’re having some great conversations about helping the industry to do more with its data and become insights-driven, as well as showing our fully end-to-end biometric passenger experience. We’re keen to hear from colleagues at airports, ground handlers and airlines about the challenges they’re experiencing and their views on applying new technologies. Specifically, we’re talking to people about the potential for greater collaboration and the benefits of common technology.”
Mark Lakerveld, executive director of strategy and markets at Vanderlande: “We are very happy to be back in Amsterdam this year to meet new and existing customers in person. Passenger Terminal Expo always offers us a great platform to network and showcase our solutions and latest innovations, and this year we are also emphasizing how these can contribute to achieving sustainable aviation.”
Sybren Hahn, director of asset management at Schiphol: “It is fantastic to be here at Passenger Terminal Expo, finalizing the next stage of Schiphol Airport’s development. Despite all the challenges that the industry, and Schiphol Airport specifically, currently face, we need to think about the future. To create reliability, we need to overhaul our baggage handling system in a sustainable and innovative fashion. We want a system that is so innovative that not even one hand has to touch the bags throughout it. So we are happy to enter into the next phase of collaboration with Vanderlande, a long-standing partner. We look forward to building a beautiful BHS facility and seeing what the future holds.”
Helle Krogh Petersen, head of marketing at ITW GSE: “Passenger Terminal Expo is an excellent opportunity to network and meet our business partners, customers and other stakeholders. We are keen to discuss and see the trends in the aviation industry. The conferences are interesting and it’s simply a great connection hub that we very much look forward to attending every year. Despite a deep knowledge of the industry, customers visiting our stand give us an extra understanding of their challenges and needs, which we actively use in our research and development. We share knowledge and learn from each other. New innovations are designed purely based on customer needs, so networking, feedback and insight from our stakeholders is a necessary ping pong.”
Grant Winter, head of commercial at Zafire: “Passenger Terminal Expo represents one of the best opportunities to bring together industry leaders across aviation in one place at one time. The show is a chance for us to sign some existing deals in person and meet new clients who are beginning large-scale IT projects in the post-pandemic era.”
Oliver Jahnke, senior key account manager at Secunet Security Networks: “We’re at Passenger Terminal Expo because our focus is always on Europe and our biggest customers are always here, expecting to see us. It’s nice to connect to existing customers and new interested partners.”
Margareta Iancu, international business developer at Nooka Space: “We are thrilled to be present at Passenger Terminal Expo 2023, one of the leading airport industry events, to present an innovative product designed for airport waiting areas. We are looking forward to meeting the Passenger Terminal Expo community and presenting in detail our newest product.”
Per Lindsjö, CEO of Green Furniture Concept: “I’m at Passenger Terminal Expo to meet customers, partners and industry colleagues to improve the customer experience in airports worldwide. I’m really looking forward to the rest of this event, which is truly an international fair!”