State-of-the-art technologies, designed to enhance operations, combined with passenger capability through mobile devices are paving the way for stress-free, enjoyable travel. An essential step to fully realize this advanced experience for travellers is embracing Open Standards—making it possible for separate networks, systems and applications to work together on the back end, thus delivering connectivity and convenience on the front end.
Open Standards will enable global interoperability, to accelerate the implementation of the best ideas in a marketplace where vendors have long been fighting for the top spot with proprietary technologies.
The Path to Efficient and Enjoyable Travel
Today, passengers encounter a series of required steps that shape their journey from home base to destination: booking, check-in, baggage drop, ground transportation, security, and customs and immigration. Booking and check-in have already been streamlined by online and mobile device capabilities as well as self-service kiosks.
Innovative software applications, investments in airport building and technology infrastructure, and utilization of new technologies are driving further improvements in the passenger journey. Wider use of baggage handling technology and smarter baggage tracking systems will reduce the number of lost bags. Radio Frequency Identification (RFID), already in use in some airports, ensures that each piece of luggage is tracked and accounted for. Autonomous robots hold potential to decrease bottlenecks in terminals caused by high volumes of baggage and trolleys, by checking in and printing baggage tags curbside then transporting the bags inside the airport to the baggage handling location. Location-based technologies are enabling more passengers to easily pinpoint then be digitally led to diverse locations in airports, to make purchases or to locate the shortest queue. Biometric systems—using facial recognition, fingerprints and iris scanning—are instantaneously screening then fast-tracking an increasing number of passengers through security.
Airports are making real progress, as they test and incorporate technologies that are leading to operational transformation and better experiences for travellers.
The Open Standards Difference
But, if the industry wants to offer passengers the reality of a seamless journey from home base to final destination, then Open Standards must lay the foundation for a re-created travel universe. Open Standards establish clear rules for communication, allowing disparate entities to “speak” one language so they can exchange and use information for technical and operational purposes. This interoperability would translate into true connectivity for passengers, authenticating the clichéd Internet of Things (IoT). Data from different entities, including airports and airlines, could be shared and harmoniously combined—for the benefit of the traveller.
With interoperability, passengers would be able to accomplish all of the necessary travel and planning steps for their journey from home to destination airport with just one app. Time would also be saved, as software applications could exchange real-time data regarding airport traffic flow status, queue waiting times at security points, and transit distance to the departure gate. Then, travellers’ mobile app could inform them, in one notification, when to leave home for optimal airport arrival. Travellers could also check this app for nearby shopping and dining suggestions, as well as transportation options available at their destinations.
Interoperability of all the applications associated with different travel steps would enable passengers to manage—and thus save—valuable time, and would also present them with an array of services for convenience and pleasure.
For this evolved “ecosystem” to be achievable and sustainable, it must be cybersecure, with all participants adhering to the highest standards of security that specify requirements to protect sensitive data and ensure privacy.
Embracing Open Standards aligns with society’s evolvement toward collaborative work environments, community-oriented development and sustainable practices. With use of Open Standards, stakeholders in passenger air travel can together forge operational progress and solve passenger frustration with the travel process. Open Standards implemented in the creation of software applications would deliver the full potential of airport systems and passenger mobile devices—making a seamless travel experience the expectation for all.