Travelling is constantly evolving and airports are now taking a more innovative approach to the overall customer experience and looking at how they can make real changes in order to create a better user experience. Here we take a look at three of the world’s most innovative airports and find out why they are leading the way in terms of innovation.

 

Changi Airport, Singapore

Recognized as one of the world’s most innovative airports as well as having some of the coolest aesthetics around, such as the Jewel, it has taken innovation a step further recently by introducing new contactless and cleaning systems to ensure a safer and more seamless airport journey.

Changi Airport has been busily installing new proximity sensors at its existing automated kiosks to eliminate the need for travelers to touch the electronic screens when they check in or drop off their bags. Infrared sensors will also enable passengers to select options and key in their travel details by pointing their finger close to the screen without actually touching it.

Changi’s contactless passenger experience will also extend to immigration. The Immigration and Checkpoints Authority has upgraded the automated immigration lanes with a new biometric system that uses face and iris recognition technology as the primary means for verifying identity. This replaces traditional fingerprint scanning.

In addition to these fantastic upgrades, autonomous cleaning robots in the terminals have been upgraded with a nozzle that sprays a light disinfecting mist for added protection on carpets and floors during cleaning. The airport is also testing the use of ultraviolet-C (UV-C) LEDs to disinfect the handrails of escalators and travelators in a safe way. A further trial is also being conducted on the use of contactless infrared technology for passenger lifts, where travelers just need to hover their finger over the lift button to activate it.

 

Incheon Airport, Seoul

If you thought you would only ever come across humans in an airport, South Korea’s Incheon Airport is looking at new ways to engage with passengers. Its recently launched T2 terminal is a prime example of how to build an airport fit for the future — not only because of

its amazing indoor green spaces, modern architecture and extensive use of natural lighting but also because of real and meaningful technological innovation.

Developed in partnership with LG, the latest terminal is hosted by international speaking, friendly-looking airport robots designed to help passengers on their journey. If you get lost looking for your flight, walk up to a robot, scan your boarding pass and it’ll lead you to the gate. If you feel hungry, it’ll happily bring you to the nearest restaurant.

Additionally, there’s a small army of cleaning robots that scan the floor and clean dirty surfaces, working 24 hours a day to ensure clean surroundings for all passengers.

 

Schiphol Airport, Amsterdam

As one of the largest European airports and an important international hub for numerous airlines Schiphol Airport has long been recognized as a leader in innovation, and continues to take on this mantle into 2021 and beyond.

The airport recently introduced 100% compliant smart security for odd-sized baggage. Some items of odd-size baggage can’t be transported to the baggage basement on the odd-size belt, so needs to go via the aptly named odd-size lift instead. For example, when something is larger or heavier than normal or an irregular shape. A baggage handler would accompany the baggage on its journey. In the past, a security officer would then stand in the basement to ensure the baggage handler didn’t enter it, as they hadn’t been security screened.

In order to ensure that the security process is 100% accurate and importantly more efficient, they have replaced this security surveillance method with an innovative solution. Based on sensors and camera images that scan whether a person is present. The door to the baggage basement will then only open if there are no non security screened persons present. The baggage handler in the basement then takes the odd-size item onto the X-ray machine so the baggage can continue on it’s journey to the intended destination.

The most innovative airports truly understand that travelling can be a very stressful experience, so they have invested in the use of smart technology, architecture, analytics, and design to minimize that stress.


As far as innovation goes the sky’s the limit.