As many state and local authorities move their constituents to the next phase of recovery, airports are preparing for passengers to re-enter their facilities. Yet, until a COVID-19 vaccine emerges, social distancing, sanitizing, monitoring, and other health precautions will be at the forefront of the travel industry. To enable this pivot, advanced technology solutions are being developed to help promote a safe contactless journey for both staff and passengers—from arrival to boarding the aircraft.

Our editors have rounded up a few recent stories on the contactless journey in the airport and how touchless technology and automation are speeding up as part of recovery plans. Read the latest here:

The Future of Airport Design in Post-COVID World

As the aviation industry recovers from the impact of the pandemic, airports must rethink the design of their facilities and the impact that it may have on the flow of passengers. Scott Gorenc, studio design director for Corgan’s aviation studio, highlights how the design of airports may evolve in the future to encourage social distancing and a contactless travel experience. Adapting to the changes, airports need to consider where congestion occurs throughout the passenger journey and try to attract passengers to atypical areas in a terminal, Gorenc suggests. He also notes that automation, biometrics, and other technology solutions to control the flow of traffic will become a necessity.

Read more here.

Collins Aerospace Launches Contactless Kiosk Capabilities

Industry partners for airports are continuing to develop and advance technology solutions to help facilitate a contactless passenger journey. Recently, Collins Aerospace announced a new mobile phone check-in and baggage drop offering that is touchless. The Kiosk Connect solution gives passengers the ability to scan a QR code with a mobile device at the kiosk and take control of it with their device. This allows the passenger to avoid exposure to surfaces but still give them full control to produce boarding passes, bag tags, and other critical information needed for travel. In the company’s announcement, LeeAnn Ridgeway notes that “it’s incredibly important to us to provide solutions to improve safety and which are easy to use” as they work to help the aviation industry rebuild passenger confidence.

Read more here.

Airports Push for Contactless Technology and ACI World Estimates Costs

Luis Felipe de Oliveira, director general of Airport Council International (ACI World), is anticipating technology investments to rise. “I’m expecting to see an advance in the expenditure on certain technology as a way to bring the passengers back and improve long-term costs by reducing capex,” according to this Skift article. Yet that cost occurs when budgets for the travel industry are down. ACI World is estimating that implementing automation technologies at a large airport could cost $75 million. But there are many factors to consider including current systems, requirements to upgrade, staff, and support. For an airport with less than 10 million annual passengers, this cost might be between $1 million to $20 million, per ACI World’s estimate. In many cases, the pandemic has accelerated existing tech spending plans at airports, with a focus on solutions that enable a contactless journey.

Read more here.

To learn more about the Contactless Passenger Journey, visit our resource center here.