Off-site processing, automation on IATA’s agenda for airports

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IATA, in collaboration with Airports Council International (ACI), have launched the New Experience in Travel and Technologies (NEXTT) initiative, which will look into off-site processing options, reducing queues, more efficient use of space and resources, as well as improving data sharing between stakeholders.

This is in light of the projected doubling of air travel demand by 2036, which increasingly necessitates new on-ground concepts that optimise the use of emerging technologies, processes and design developments.

IATA is working towards ensuring the transport of passengers, baggage and cargo will benefit from the latest technology developments. Photo credit:

“We will not be able to handle the growth or evolving customer expectations with our current processes, installations and ways of doing business. And accommodating growth with ever bigger airports will be increasingly difficult if not impossible,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s director general and CEO.

Specifically, NEXTT will look into the possibility of transferring on-site processes off-site, such as security processing, and baggage check and drop-off.

It will also investigate how advanced processing technology, such as tracking and identification technology, and automation and robotics, can improve safety, security, the customer experience and operational efficiency.

NEXTT will also promote the better use of data, predictive modelling and artificial intelligence to facilitate real-time decision-making, a key element in improving the passenger experience, and optimising operational efficiency.

A number of key airports including Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (AMS), Bangalore International Airport (BLR), Dubai International (DXB), Heathrow Airport (LHR) and Shenzhen Airport (Group) Co. (SZX) are already actively involved in a number of projects which explore NEXTT concepts.

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