Airport self-service check-in ‘Global Trend’
November 7th, 2009 by elisa

The majority of the world’s leading airports (80%) aim to make passenger self-service the primary channel for check-in, according to a new global survey. More than half (52%) rated the introduction of “electronic documents” as the technology which will have the most significant impact at airports in the near future. This will initially be driven by the adoption of bar-coded boarding passes sent directly to mobile phones – a key enabler for paperless travel.

The SITA Airport IT Trends survey, also found that IT budgets for airports in 2008 were largely unaffected by the global economic downturn. The world airport IT industry is estimated to be worth $3 billion and 45% of this year’s survey respondents expect an increase in budget in 2010 while only 14% expect a lower budget.

SITA vice president for airports Catherine Mayer said: “This year’s survey confirms that self-service is a global trend with almost 80% of respondents planning to make it the primary means for check-in by 2010 as is already the case at 40% of the world’s top 100 airports.

“Airports are also recognising that passengers bypassing check-in counters may be faced with new bottlenecks and queues at baggage drop-off and security screening areas. As a result, airports are turning to various automation tools to track wait times at different checkpoints such as security and immigration. Of the respondents who said they will monitor wait times in the future, 60% will use video analytics, 43% will use RFID and 27% plan to use Bluetooth technology.”

Half of all airports believe providing solutions on mobile devices for passengers or staff at airports will have the highest impact on their IT infrastructure.

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