Cameron Mann, Global Market Director – Aviation, looks at key challenges facing the industry and the impact of the latest digital trends for airports of all sizes.
See what he has to say.
Forecast: Higher pressure due to increased airport traffic
Key ways Smiths Detection’s Cameron Mann says the latest digital trends will ease the load
The forecasts are clear: airport traffic is likely to double by 2035*. That’s 7.2 billion passengers each year, and with them comes growing pressure for airports and authorities across the globe to meet escalating safety, operational, and performance demands.
How can airports leverage security solutions to be more efficient while ensuring a great passenger experience? Cameron Mann, Global Market Director – Aviation, discusses the top challenges our customers face and the impact of the latest digital trends for airports of all sizes.
What are the top concerns you hear from your aviation customers?
In Europe right now there is a focus on upgrading Hold Baggage Screening to ECAC Standard 3-approved explosives detection systems (EDS) to meet the change in regulation. Most European airports already operate with high speed screening infrastructure. Transitioning from Standard 2 to Standard 3 allows airports to review their entire concept of operations, there are cost considerations in changing technology which is weighted against the operational benefits of Standard 3 technology. Customers want the assurance that when they upgrade to Standard 3 approved EDS their investment will also meet future requirements and future growth needs. Globally customers are looking to security detection solutions to address evolving threats, increased passenger loads and how best to serve the needs of the airlines.
The long-term passenger growth forecast at 5 percent places pressure on infrastructure. Airports are seeking ways in which to get the most from their existing infrastructure and when changes are required ensuring these provide them a platform for future changes and continued growth. At the checkpoint, airports also are looking for better control and management of the infrastructure. They need the lines to keep moving and for passengers to feel good about the experience. This means higher throughput, more accurate detection solutions, and more productive staff.
Overall, we are hearing a need for integrated solutions that deliver high levels of security performance without slowing operations down. Customers are seeing the impact big data is having on other industries and want to have those same predictive and analytic insights in their solutions.
How are the latest digital trends being leveraged in this sector?
A recent study conducted by research firm Frost & Sullivan states that the future airport will be more diversified, automated and passenger centric—processes that will be driven by secure and trusted data. Now more than ever, airport managers are looking to digital technologies as a way to achieve their KPIs around enhancing the passenger experience, improving efficiency and ensuring the highest levels of safety and security. This puts any digital project relating to passenger processing, flow, on time performance and baggage handling as a top priority.
In fact, for the next few years digital transformation is seen as the most important programme at the airports, with security being a key focus area.
We are now seeing how the promises of big data can be delivered through integrated solutions. For example, an integrated solution at the checkpoint has the ability to deliver insights on passenger traffic that better supports resource deployment, decreasing the potential for bottlenecks while optimizing staffing.
While predictive analytics have long been used in several industries that deal with complex capital equipment—from the medical field to semiconductors to aircraft carriers to elevators—we are also now seeing the possibility this capability delivers for our aviation customers. Leveraging predictive data analytics and advanced diagnostics, detection system downtime can be planned for and scheduled ahead of time.
It is about supporting informed decision-making. The ability of remote monitoring—reported in a dashboard that is conveniently accessible via a secure internet connection—and predictive analytics. Together these insights provide airports information that allows them to respond quickly to possible issues, while continually monitoring activity throughout their ecosystem.
*Source: International Air Transport Association (IATA).