EL SEGUNDO, Calif. — Airports worldwide are seeking to deploy automation technology for security and access control in an effort to cut costs, according to a report by IHS.
Numerous airport employees sit at entry/exit doors, scanning boarding passes and providing other tasks. By adding automation technology, those tasks can be programmed through electronics, according to the report titled, “The Word Market for Pedestrian Entrance Control Equipment.”
Automation at airports represents an opportunity for pedestrian entrance control equipment suppliers, specifically those specializing in speed gates, says Omar Talpur, an analyst for IHS.
“The first process that everyone thinks about — and the area where there has probably been the most progress — is boarding control,” he says. “Automated boarding control provides airports with an opportunity to speed up the boarding process by deploying two to three speed gates in the boarding area to automate this process. In an industry where on-time departures are essential, any acceleration in boarding could potentially save millions of dollars each year.”
Despite the benefits of automation, airports have been slow to deploy the technology on a wider scale. This is attributed to the complexity of the airport environment, as it takes years of planning and construction to roll out a solution that offers drastic changes.
“Automated boarding control won’t happen overnight,” Talpur says. “However, a snowball effect is inevitable as passengers and airport personnel become accustomed to working with the technology.”
To date, automated boarding control gates have been more prevalent in Europe than the United States, as many European airports operate as for-profit businesses. As such, the European airports must find ways to cut costs and improve traveler experience to keep passengers spending money in the airport, according to the report.
On the other hand, the U.S. relies heavily on government agencies such as the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) for airport safety and security.
“New technologies are required to go through rigorous processes and approvals before deployment, which creates hurdles for suppliers looking to sell product into U.S. airports,” Talpur says.