Automation and Novel Airside Services Lead the Way for the Future of International Airports

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Automation and Novel Airside Services Lead the Way for the Future of International Airports

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The airport and airline industry are responsible for the economic prosperity of the country. A passenger’s journey whether domestic or international determines the future of many businesses, especially air services. In addition, international travel provides new opportunities for air services and creates jobs for all. These services are required for timely flight arrivals and departures, fuel and oil handling, ramp handling, baggage handling and aircraft maintenance, as well as other services.

According to Allied Market Research, the global air service market Significant growth is projected from 2021 to 2028. Growth in passenger traffic and cargo volume and increasing competitive rivalry among low cost air service providers are the major reasons for the growth of the market. In addition, the rise in the launch of new airside services to enhance the passenger experience has opened up new opportunities in the market.

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Launch of airside services aims to enhance customer experience

The airline industry is one of the most affected industries during the COVID-19 pandemic. The ban on international travel and ban on domestic flights has hit the bottom line of the airlines badly. Thus, several market players in the airside services market have launched novel platforms to capture customer attention and rebuild relationships.

Recently, Tampa International introduced an enhanced airside service that provides touchless food delivery from more than 20 restaurants in any of the airport’s terminals. The service is powered by well-known food delivery apps AtYourGate and Grab and has been launched on TPAtoGo.com.

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The experience of COVID-19 has increased the importance of contactless technology. From confirming tickets to ordering food, customers are inclined to use contactless methods. Thus, airside services incorporating contactless technology are expected to see a huge demand in the coming years.

Similarly, airside service companies have launched new platforms only for the benefit of pilots. In 2020, CAE unveiled Airside, a digital platform as well as an online community for pilots. Airside provides training tolls and career opportunities for pilots during the pandemic and their professional careers.

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The tool has been developed by surveying more than 3,000 pilots and since its launch more than 10,000 visits have shown interest in the airside. This platform for pilots includes resume builders, career solutions and podcasts to help them sharpen their skills to boost their career. Airside has become a community where professional pilots offer their resources and guide each other to a brighter future.

Challenges in the Airside Services Market

The COVID-19 pandemic presented unprecedented challenges. Airplanes were grounded for months and air traffic dropped significantly. However, post-pandemic demand for air travel is expected to increase as international tourism is set to increase. This launch is a lucrative opportunity for the market players in the airside service market. Companies need to launch new airside services and hire more airside operations teams to meet customer demand and handle the increasing pressure.

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A sudden increase in passenger traffic can result in overcrowding and limited air services. Thus, airline companies and market players in the airside service industry need to look for new ways to increase efficiencies and use existing resources carefully.

Another challenge for the market is the lack of skilled workers to make use of advanced technologies. While many companies have introduced user-friendly airside services, seamless integration of innovative technologies into the existing infrastructure is the key to improving the passenger experience.

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The future of air services lies with improving airport infrastructure

Airport infrastructure is essential for building relationships with customers. Thus far, Riyadh Airports has announced to join forces with Aegis and local subsidiary projects that specialize in project management in the Middle East to provide consultancy services for airside projects at Kind Khalid International Airport.

Aegis’ expertise is expected to assist in the review of airside projects, monitoring of new airside infrastructure and construction management. In addition, the company is responsible for reviewing and approving technical deliverables related to baggage handling systems, infrastructure and airfield ground lighting, among many other aspects. This suggests that Riyadh airport will show rapid changes in its infrastructure in the form of redevelopment.

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Airport infrastructure will be a major concern in future and companies will invest cautiously in air services. As air traffic is expected to increase in the coming months, airports must be prepared for their passengers and remain efficient in accommodating multiple flights.

For years, the ground handling sector was labor intensive. However, in the future, advanced technologies will replace some jobs in airside services. Thanks to the development of automation and robotics, the time is not far when airside services will no longer depend on human participation. In fact, several companies have already invested in developing fully automated airside operations. Thus, it is safe to say that the future of airside services lies with automation.

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