Airports Council International (ACI) World has today presented two papers to the 40th International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Assembly on the urgency of needed innovation in aviation security and aviation facilitation.
ACI believes that, to keep up with growth in air service demand, changes in threats and risks, as well as technological evolution, the aviation sector needs an adaptable, flexible framework within which innovation can thrive. To accomplish this, partnerships between government and industry, plus regulatory space to foster pilots and trials, are needed.
“In order to allow innovation in aviation security, ACI urges states to make regulation less prescriptive, allow for new technology trials, and simplify the way technology is certified and approved for use,” said ACI World director general Angela Gittens.
ACI has proposed that states support innovations such as the use of artificial intelligence, connectivity, big data and stand-off detection that could radically transform aviation security by screening persons seamlessly at various airport touchpoints, and even before they arrive at the airport.
“ACI is working with airports, airlines and governments within the Smart Security initiative to develop a 2040 Vision for passenger screening that, we hope, will inspire change, but this will depend on the actions taken by states and the ICAO in the coming years, and on the support of the Assembly,” Gittens said.
According to ACI data, airports are set to welcome more than 20 billion passengers by 2040 and, while the exponential growth of air service demand promises more jobs, higher GDPs, and a wealth of social benefits, many airports are facing congestion without a clear way to increase capacity.
Airport leaders are faced with pressure to manage performance and growth, without constantly adding infrastructure and cost, while striving for environmental sustainability and maintaining robust security.
“Innovation in airport facilitation will be key to helping airports make the most of existing infrastructure,” Gittens said. “Our industry is already hard at work researching and testing solutions such as robotics, automation and biometrics, but making change happen will depend on the decisions taken this week.”
ACI has produced a working paper on airport facilitation, which explores the potential of automation and advanced technologies, defining a common vocabulary to facilitate data exchange, and embracing digital solutions, and has suggested steps that national authorities can take to help foster innovation.
“Digital identity management and data sharing are great examples of innovations that can help improve customer experience, efficiency and both aviation and border security,” Gittens said. “It’s a win-win for governments and Industry.”