Generation Z is coming of age. This new generation of travelers, born into a digital world, will account for 32% of the global population by 2019, according to a Bloomberg analysis. They will heavily influence – and force change upon – airport operations, retail strategies and the technology and tools needed to provide a positive passenger experience.
Today’s modern traveler is accustomed to a high standard of technology. Servicing today’s digital passenger requires airports to make digital services readily available to maximize passenger engagement. Some leading airports already use digital technology to power various aspects of their operation, but the complete digital passenger experience is still an elusive goal for most.
Knowledge is Power
Every flyer is a digital passenger who both provides and consumes vast amounts of data. For airports to effectively use this data, information must flow through the airport. Ideally, data collection and data sharing should begin before passengers even arrive at the airport. The earlier the airport can begin interacting with passengers, the more opportunities there will be to meet their needs and build a positive relationship.
Advance knowledge of who will be coming to the airport enables airport managers to offer more precise personalization. Personalization begins when a traveler is identified and is enhanced as he or she interacts with mobile apps, kiosks and fixed service outlets. The more the airport knows about travelers, the more targeted information mobile apps can deliver to them as they move through the airport.
The ability to provide this level of personalization is important.
According to the 2017 IATA Global Passenger Survey,85% of passengers want to check their flight status, 50% want to digitally track their bag, and more than half want to receive updates regarding wait times at various points in their travel.
Eighty-five percent of travelers are happy to provide personal data to airlines to speed these processes up.
Simplify the Journey
In a true digital airport environment, passengers will access all services from their own device. Technology exists that can capture passengers’ biometrics at the first touchpoint in their journey, match it with their travel information, and create a single digital record of identification. With this single token, passengers need only complete a facial scan throughout the balance of their journey – no need to provide any other documentation.
It’s easy to see why airports and airlines would embrace this technology so enthusiastically. Single token travel will improve security oversight, speed up passenger processing, and reduce the resources needed to manage the travel journey.
Passengers are also in favor of this technology. It eliminates the source of many complaints aimed at air travel.
In fact, according to IATA’s 2017 Global Passenger Survey, 70% of passengers are willing share personal information to speed things up at the airport, and nearly 64% prefer biometric identification as their travelling token.
While implementing such a digital strategy would be a win for both the airport and the passenger, the ability to use and integrate the required technology may be a challenge for existing airport infrastructure.
Bringing Airport Infrastructure into the Digital Age
Servicing the digital passenger is only possible with the right underlying cable and IT infrastructure. Airport infrastructure must be capable of handling a vast amount of transactions using real-time or near real-time data, with low to no latency. Such an infrastructure delivers complete transparency of the airport ICT infrastructure. Planners need such transparency to ensure redundancy in their networks, re-route services when maintenance and building work must be performed, and respond quickly to unforeseen outages. Planners can only do this if the entire infrastructure is documented and the operational teams have access to this resource inventory, wherever and whenever they need it.
How an airport manages its IT infrastructure can make or break its ability to operate in a digital world. Airport IT and network operations managers are responsible for a vast array of cable networks and IT services. They need a management system that provides them full control of rollout projects, operational processes and all related information. One that delivers complete visibility into every facet of the airport infrastructure to support data-driven decisions that prevent service disruption, improve work processes based on precise workplans and shorten outage times due to faster root-cause-analysis.
FNT Command provides complete visibility into all network assets and can control everything from cabling and trays to documentation and issue resolutions. FNT Command encompasses the following:
- IT Infrastructure
To provision services quickly, network managers must have complete insight into the entire IT infrastructure from assets, to configuration items, to licenses, contracts, and documentation. FNT Command optimizes every interaction between networks, servers, workstations, and software management and also provides airport businesses with full control of data center operations regarding space, power, and cooling. The ability to assess and monitor a data center in real-time improves decision making and daily processes, all while reducing unplanned downtimes.
- Cable Infrastructure
Data cables and communications services are vital to the modern business world. To manage them effectively, total transparency and graphical documentation of nodes, trays, sections, and individual fiber-optic assignments in conjunction with service layers, is necessary. This will enable network managers to document, plan, and manage the entire cable and network infrastructure in an end-to-end view both in planning and actual mode.
- Information and Communication Technologies
A better organized service portfolio equals better IT service organization. Providing the foundation for defining, managing, and monitoring business services and airport assets over their entire service lifecycle will allow network managers to match service management perspectives with IT infrastructure views.
The Future of Air Travel
Like other industries, the travel industry must continuously adapt to market changes and new technology. For airports, the focus today is on the passenger’s journey. Airports strive to make travelling a seamless and personalized experience and technology plays a pivotal role in their ability to do so.
Overall, transformation through digital processes provides an opportunity for all stakeholders in the value chain. Implementing the right technology along with a comprehensive management solution will enable airlines and airports to conquer industry challenges, reduce operational costs, and create a positive flight experience for digital passengers.
Interested in learning more about FNT Command and how it can transform your airport’s infrastructure?