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NEWS Last modified on April 18, 2018

New technology to continue to change the way we travel

The future of air transport will be driven by a digital transformation in the industry, according to Barbara Dalibard, CEO of global IT provider, SITA. 

Speaking at the Asia Pacific Air Transport IT Summit, Dalibard said: “Smart use of technology can help manage the challenges of rising passenger numbers, limited infrastructure and increased complexity.

"At SITA, we are looking at opportunities to harness technologies including biometrics, artificial intelligence, machine learning, robotics and blockchain to transform the industry.

“Already biometrics is becoming more commonplace at airports around the world and is delivering secure seamless travel from check-in to boarding.

"Today we work with around 40 governments providing border management solutions. And we have biometric self-service solutions operating worldwide, including in Australia, USA, Mexico and the Middle East.”

By 2036, the Asia-Pacific region is expected to be handling around 4.1 billion passengers per annum – more than half of the world’s passenger traffic.

However, with this growth comes challenges and stresses on infrastructure and processes.

The industry also faces increased complexity and security regulation globally. Dalibard outlined how technology can provide real value and help the industry navigate the future.

SITA itself is investing in new technologies with its industry partners. For example, it worked with British Airways, Heathrow, Geneva and Miami airports to explore the opportunity to use blockchain technology for the shared control of data.

Autonomous vehicles and the potential use of robotics is another field of development, with particular interest shown at the event in Kansai Airport’s trial of KATE, SITA’s autonomous check-in robot.

Dalibard added: “By embracing the Internet of Things and connecting everything across the industry we will produce more data which can be used with artificial intelligence to create valuable insights and expose new ways of working.

"Over the next 20 years, this use of digital technologies to improve service, operations and efficiency will have profound effects on the air transport industry.”

 

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