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Focus on: IT innovation
Airport profile: Sydney
Special report: Kansas City’s new terminal
Plus: ASQ Winners, Vertiports & Sustainability

Tech time

The ‘IT innovation’ theme of this issue provides Airport World editor, Joe Bates, with the chance to reflect on the constant growth and development of new technology.

The laughter of my nephew when I messed up a food order on a tablet in a restaurant the other day reminded me of my hilarity at watching my dad try and use a VHS video recorder for the first time back in the early 1980s.

In fairness to my dad, he was born in a different age, and using technology was alien to him. I can offer no such excuses, of course.

Indeed, today we rely on technology for pretty much everything we do and and living life without it seems almost inconceivable. Just imagine being without your laptop or mobile phone for a month? How would we survive?

When I started work neither existed, and we obviously survived just fine, but it really cannot be overstated how much technology has changed the way we live, work and play since then. For example, back then, if I needed to do some background research for a big story, I would often spend hours or even days in libraries or public offices looking for old paper documents and files. Today, you can invariably find this information on the internet within a couple of minutes!

The impact of technology on the way we travel has been as equally dramatic. Just think about how we used to book holidays or flights in the old days. In most cases the process involved physically visting a travel agent or an airline office – often more than once – to make your booking. Today, you can do this all yourself from the comfort of your living room.

While at the airport itself, technology such as augmented reality, e-gates, self-service check-in and baggage drop machines, touchless kiosks and robotics, together with improved digital communication from airport operators and retail/F&B concessionaires, have hugely enhanced the airport experience. And the good news is that there is so much more to come.

You can read about some of the latest IT developments at airports and the potential technologies to come in the ‘IT innovation’ themed section of this issue of Airport World.

ACI World’s senior director for security, technology and innovation, Billy Shallow, introduces the IT innovation section by considering how the smart use of data will continue to transform the airport industry.

The themed section also contains an interview with Elena Avila, head of the airport and airline operations business unit at Amadeus; and shines the spotlight on how the travel trends of tomorrow are shaping airport IT agendas today; anti-drone technology; IT-driven customer service innovation; and the digital transformation of airfield inspections.

Elsewhere in the issue, we salute the 2022 Airport Service Quality (ASQ) winners; discover more about Kansas City International Airport’s new terminal; and ACI World director general, Luis Felipe de Oliveira, provides his thoughts on the key role technology, IT innovation and data will play in the future development and success of the world’s airports.

Our main airport feature is on Sydney Airport (SYD), where CEO, Geoff Culbert, explains why the Australian hub is looking ahead with confidence and has big plans for the future.

If that’s not enough, our Spring 2023 edition also contains articles about beginning the airport decarbonisation journey; the key role airports can play in unlocking the benefits of urban air mobility; our regular ‘people matters’ column; and the latest news from ACI’s World Business Partners (WBP).

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