Deep-learning algorithms, biometric passports and anti-drone technology helping to drive airport revolution

Smart airports The global market for smart airports is growing at 10.7% CAGR, according to a report by Grand View Research. Defined by the deployment of digital, automated and connected airport processes, smart airports are projected to be worth $25bn by 2025. Self-service check-ins, smart baggage drops and smart luggage tracking are three of the most common smart services being deployed in airports around the world.

Many smart innovations are emerging in the field at the top of the industry s priorities: security. Electronic bag tags are becoming more popular among passengers, for instance. Automated PSIM systems, meanwhile, analyse video surveillance footage to identify suspicious events such as unattended bags and enhance the efficiency of data analysis through deep-learning algorithms. And with drones a growing worry, aviation authorities are trialling a range of anti-drone technology. Software can spot and verify security problems more quickly than human staff, reducing the risk of airport closures that can cost tens of thousands of pounds per minute The traditional passport is giving way to smart passports equipped with computer chips for rapid identity verification, while biometric screening, using iris, fingerprint and facial readers, is on the rise. In what is believed to be a first for a UK airport, a remote monitoring system based on high definition video cameras is to replace the physical control tower at London City Airport. The cameras will combine to provide a full 360-degree view of the airfield. embedded content Operational efficiency While security is an overwhelming priority for airports given the terror threat, many security innovations have the added benefit of boosting operational efficiency too. Automated video analytics software can spot problems or identify false alarms more quickly than human-based monitoring, reducing the risk of airport closures that can cost tens of thousands of pounds per minute.

Patterns in the movement of passengers through the airport can be identified to generate insights that help authorities open or close check-in desks in order to manage bottlenecks. ThruVis, a thermal camera that detects both metallic and non-metallic objects concealed under clothing such as weapons or drugs, can speed up passenger screening. Developed by Digital Barriers, the cameras managed to screen 50 people every three minutes at a recent music event in London. Passengers can access real-time information on their phones about gate numbers, arrival time, check-in desks and flight bookings. Bluetooth-enabled beacons are being widely installed to provide connected airport solutions such as indoor way-finding and nearby promotional offers, based on passengers spending and usage habits. Out on the runway, aircraft can be geo-located and coordinated using real-time landing information. In the US and other developed markets, automated parking facilities which make use of ANPR systems, are becoming more widespread.

Strengthened by surging passenger numbers, Asia-Pacific will emerge as the fastest-growing region over the forecast period.

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