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Congestion, security 'top airport concerns'

The majority of IT investment at major airports around the world is targeted at the issues of congestion and security, according to a survey.

Tackling congestion and meeting security demands are the top priorities for the world's major airports, according to an international survey.

Some 2.1 billion people boarded planes last year and this number is growing by five per cent per annum, making overcrowding and safety major issues for the top 200 airport operators polled by IT and communications company SITA.

In order to meet these twin concerns, airports plan to implement significant changes in coming years, particularly in the areas of passenger self-service and shared-use systems, the survey reveals.

John Jarrell, SITA's senior vice-president for airport and desktop services, said: "Delays at security, check-in and baggage collection are all touch points which frustrate the travelling public and they are now at the top of the airport IT agenda when it comes to investing in new technologies such as self-service kiosks, remote passenger check-in, fast bag drop-off and biometrics.

"Passenger and baggage processing are the priorities for the overwhelming majority of respondents to this year's survey when it comes to IT investment and this is mainly driven by a desire to improve customer service."

Mr Jarrell predicted that there will be "vast improvements" in passenger processing in coming years as customers get to grips with facilities such as web check-in and self-service kiosks.

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