The most successful solutions, such as biometric technology – which use unique physical and behavioral characteristics to identify passengers – are the ones that you hardly notice. What if you didn’t have to pass through or step into a full body scanner, and instead you were scanned by face or fingerprint? It would seem logical that the most obvious improvement for passenger flow would be a more open and free-flowing terminal free of long lines and deep sighs, which, as new technology comes online, would significantly reduce passenger anxiety. Continuous improvements in technology not only provides increased levels of security, it also extends beyond the terminal by providing a safer environment for both staff and passengers on the tarmac. Airport clients we work with use technology for different purposes – some focus more on efficiency and pure passenger throughput, while others focus on becoming a destination of choice by re-imagining the passenger experience. Some airports are now providing ASD-curated experiences at airports by implementing simple initiatives such as sensory “Chill out” spaces and priority queuing for these passengers. Airports are becoming larger and busier with increased global demand for air travel, which means that longer walking distances need to be overcome with different planning models and technological solutions around passenger mobility – this is both an engineering and a design challenge. Airports are evolving into places where people come to hang out, even if they are not travelling – like the recent opening of our Changi Jewel project in Singapore – which represents the next evolution of the airport city where airports become places for locals, rather than purely processing machines for travelers.
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