The International Air Transport Association (IATA) in collaboration with Airports Council International (ACI) have launched the New Experience in Travel and Technologies (NEXTT) initiative. NEXTT will investigate how passengers, cargo, baggage and aircraft move through the complete travel journey with a focus on change in three areas: Off-airport activities, advanced processing technology and Interactive decision-making.
IATA sources said that in light of the projected doubling of air travel demand by 2036, new on-ground concepts would be required increasingly to optimize the use of emerging technologies, processes and design developments. NEXTT aims to help deliver this future by developing a common vision to enhance the on-ground transport experience, guide industry investments and help governments improve the regulatory framework.
“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. NEXTT will address these challenges. Working with our airport partners we will explore the important changes in technology and processes to enhance the customer experience. And we will ask some fundamental questions about what really needs to happen at the airport and what can be done off-site,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO.
According to Angela Gittens, Director General, ACI World, NEXTT will seek to provide a seamless journey by exploring increased off-site processing options; reducing or even eliminating queues; more efficiently using space and resources through enhanced deployments of artificial intelligence and robotics; and vastly improving data sharing between stakeholders. The goal of NEXTT is finding potential ways to integrate systems and improve operations in the most secure, effective and sustainable manner for the benefit of passengers and the industry.
Special features of NEXTT:
Off-airport activities: NEXTT will explore the possibilities of transferring on-site processes off-site, such as security processing and baggage check and drop-off, to streamline the airport experience.
Advanced processing technology: NEXTT will investigate how advance processing technology, such as tracking and identification technology, automation and robotics can improve safety, security, the customer experience and operational efficiency.
Interactive decision-making: NEXTT will 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 optimizing operational efficiency.
IATA and ACI will work with their respective members, and other associations, service providers, engineering firms and manufacturers. Through the collaborative approach NEXTT aims to align the visions for the future passenger and cargo journey. 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., Ltd. (SZX) are already actively involved in a number of projects which explore NEXTT concepts.