Passenger Terminal Today Magazine - January 2022

AI continues to influence airport operations and affect the passenger experience – as these five examples show

Artificial intelligence (AI) is likely to increasingly dominate every aspect of the passenger experience, with the latest in AI-enabled facial recognition and biometrics, as well as new service applications such as chatbots and robots, currently being trialled at airports across the globe.

So just how far are we from airports run completely by AI, constantly surveying passengers in the background?

“Image analysis of bags was a significant step forward for security, allowing baggage through in ‘outer reject’ mode and only rejecting the ones with issues,” responds professor Mario Gongora from the UK’s De Montfort University, an advisor to both IATA and the ACI on AI.

“It’s far more autonomous, but the next step of biometrics and facial recognition for ID checking will go further. Your face will become your ID, and after that it’s a seamless journey through the terminal until you’re sitting on the aircraft. It’s a much more efficient process at customs. At IATA and ACI this is part of the vision for 2040, but the technology is there and it could be done much earlier.”

Currently, Gongora believes that too many airports are failing to exploit the full potential of AI. “

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