Home' Asian Aviation : AAV May 2014 Contents 32 AsianAviation | MAY 2014
The processes involved in air travel have
changed significantly over the last few
decades. Twenty years ago, passengers
would have booked their tickets with a travel
agent, checked in at the airport at a dedicated airline
desk and be kept informed by airport signage.
Today's process is different, with passengers able
to book their travel direct with the airline through
websites, check-in themselves and their baggage at
home or at self-service airport kiosks, speed through
airport security thanks to improved solutions and be
kept informed via their personal mobile devices.
Technology has transformed the journey and more
is to come.
IATA's Simplifying the Business (StB) initiative
has focused for the last decade on simplifying and
improving air travel. The umbrella programme has
seen the launch and delivery of numerous projects
-- eTicket, Bar Coded Boarding Pass, Electronic
Miscellaneous Document and Fast Travel to name
a few -- all of which have improved the passenger
experience and saved the industry billions of dollars.
"Over and above saving costs for the industry,
these initiatives have resulted in significant benefits
for all involved stakeholders -- airlines, airports,
agents, ground handlers and system providers. As
importantly, StB has also identified new opportunities
for innovation and improvement in customer service
such as bringing convenience, control and choice
through self-service options, mobile boarding passes
and upsell," says IATA.
IATA set five goals for StB, in airline products,
passenger data, real-time interaction, hassle free
and seamless journey. In airline products, the
transformation is under way, with the e-Services
project bringing standards to ancillary sales and
removing paper from airline ticketing processes.
In the area of passenger data, IATA and industry
stakeholders are working on a passenger data/e-
Border vision, while the real-time interaction initiative is
focused on customer contact information and airport
wi-fi, with the former designed to allow the industry
and customer to interact at anytime, anywhere in
order to provide better customer service, especially
in the case of irregular operations. IATA is working
with Airports Council International (ACI) to make wi-fi
connectivity more widely available at airports.
The hassle-free goal has seen a number of projects
implemented, including Fast Travel, Security Access
and Egress, Checkpoint of the Future and Automated
Border Control, and Automated Check-in, Fast and
Simple Common Bag Drop and Single Token being
Fast Travel, which was launched in 2007, has
fostered the introduction of numerous self-service
options at airports around the world. It aims to offer
a complete self-service suite, covering check-in,
document check, flight rebooking to self-boarding
and bag recovery for 80% of global travellers by
2020. Global penetration was 13% at the end of
2013, with 30% planned by the end of this year and
45% in 2015.
Checkpoint of the Future, or Smart Security
(SmartS) as it was renamed at the end of last year
when IATA and ACI signed a memorandum of
understanding on joint development, is aimed at
offering fast and hassle-free passenger screening
as well as strengthening security and improving
operational efficiency. It moves away from the rigid
one-size fits all approach to a risk-based approach
based on security outcomes, process improvement
Since Checkpoint of the Future's launch in 2012,
individual components have been tested at a number
of airports, but under SmartS several components
will now be tested together to see how they interact
with one another in an operational environment.
Other initiatives and technologies being explored by
IATA include permanent bag tags, biometrics, near-
field communications (NFC) and Single Token. Under
the Single Token initiative, passengers would use a
single token for all elements of the journey with the
aim of streamlining and simplifying the travel process.
"The industry is already seeing substantial benefits
and new initiatives, such as Single Token currently
in exploration mode will surely contribute to increase
these benefits even further," says Paul Behan, head
of passenger experience at IATA.
Industry suppliers have developed solutions
to meet the brief. ARINC has solutions for every
stage of passenger processing, from check-in to
baggage tracking. Its Multi-User System Environment
(MUSE) shared passenger and flight information
system supports more than 300 airlines around the
world and it is a leader in common use self-service
(CUSS) kiosks, with its SelfServ solution installed
at more than 40 airports. ARINC is looking at new
technologies such as NFC, smart cards, single tokens
and permanent baggage tags as future solutions.
Jeff Amiri, senior director for Aviation and Ground,
Systems Solutions, ARINC Asia Pacific, says ARINC
is continuously working on technology-driven, end-
to-end solutions to meet industry needs with the aim
of providing an efficient operating environment.
SITA also has solutions for every stage of the
journey, from the common-use AirportConnect
Platform, common-use kiosks, flow monitoring
products, Airport iValidate for travel documentation
validation and Self BagDrop solutions. SITA's Horizon
passenger services system solution is in service with
more than 150 airlines and ground handlers.
Like ARINC, SITA is continually exploring new
solutions, recently conducting a trial with Virgin
Atlantic, for example, of the use of Google Glass
and Sony Smartwatch technology to enhance the
passenger experience and improve efficiency.
Improving the process
Technology developments on the ground are designed to make air travel a much more
pleasant experience for passengers and more e cient and cost-e ective for airlines
and airports. Emma Kelly takes a look at some of the developments.
Travellers in the future will be kept informed
throughout their journey via their mobile devices.
Links Archive AAV April 2014 AAV June 2014 Navigation Previous Page Next Page