If you are traveling to Brisbane Airport, be prepared for a more modern experience than you might have had before. Transport technology and communications giant SITA along with Air New Zealand are teaming up to bring ‘Smart Path’ to Brisbane. “This is a great opportunity for passengers to help shape the future of travel,” said Roel Hellemons, GM Strategic Planning and Development for Brisbane Airport Corporation.
Closer to home Jet Blue will be the first U.S. based carrier to join the growing crowd of Airlines using biometric scanning to speed up their processes. Already, British Airways and KLM are forging ahead with their own programs, and Delta has recently shown interest in joining the club. Right now this service is only available for JetBlue customers from Boston to Aruba, but with the pace of innovation in the sector it won’t be long before more airports follow Brisbane’s lead.
Under Brisbane’s new system you won’t need to keep showing your passport at each checkpoint. After the initial scan and verification you enter the world of ‘Single Token’ travel. This means that all you will need to prove who you are for the rest of the process is your face and your fingerprint. This should lead to faster lines, shorter waits and a more pleasurable experience for all through the wonders of digital technology.
SITA already provides technology and expertise to 30 governments around the world, meaning travelers will be seeing a lot more of it in the future. “This is a single, secure, self-service process which simplifies passenger processing for everyone – airlines, airports and border authorities.” Said Sumesh Patel, President of SITA Asia-Pacific.
But new scanners and paperless checkpoints aren’t the only innovations you might see at airports. SITA is also developing a new robotic kiosk that won’t just check you in, but will autonomously move around the airport to areas with high traffic or long lines. They call her KATE.
Airport security scanners look set for an upgrade as well, with new prototypes borrowing from advances in CT scan and other medical technology to deliver much more accurate data to airport staff. So accurate, in fact, that one day you might be able to leave your laptop in your bag and your shoes on. That means less bins to scan at the TSA line so you can get to your flight faster.
With all this innovative new technology the airport of the future might be here sooner than you think....