Type to search





Airport profile: Muscat

In Focus: Sustainability

Plus: ACI World Customer Experience Global Summit; Investing in Asia-Pacific; eVTOLs and Retail/F&B

The next big thing!

Editor, Joe Bates, reflects on the ‘innovation’ theme of the penultimate 2023 issue of Airport World.

I have no idea who first coined the expression, ‘the next big thing’, but it has been around for a long time, and I distinctly remember it being used to describe a number of new innovations in my lifetime… most of which didn’t quite live up to the hype!

I know this is going to sound crazy to the younger generation, but thinking back to when I was a school kid, some of the new innovations that really wowed the Bates family at the time were the DVD player, digital watches, the microwave oven, air conditioning and electric windows in cars, and the TV remote control!

The DVD player in particular probably had the biggest impact on our family, and indeed millions like us, as their global popularity led to the birth of video rental chains like Blockbuster, which meant that instead of going to the cinema if you wanted to watch a film you could, for the first time, hire one and watch it in the comfort of your own home

Since then, of course, technology has taken things to another level, the new era of tech-driven advances arguably beginning with the global roll-out of mobile phones and desktop computers with dial-up internet access!

From a technology perspective, an online training provider recently made a list of what it considered to be the Top 15 new technology trends for 2023. They include AI and Automation; Blockchain; 5G Networks; Augmented Reality; Virtual Reality; The Metaverse; Biometrics; Cybersecurity; Cloud Computing; Internet of Things; and Robotics.

All of the above are being actively used or trialled at airports across the globe today, as airport operators and the aviation industry as a whole strives to become more operationally efficient, sustainable, personalised and customer friendly.

Indeed, we cover some of the technology trends in the ‘innovation’ themed section of this issue of Airport World, where we also discuss retail and F&B innovation, LaGuardia Terminal B’s accessibility mission; and operational innovation at Amsterdam Schiphol.

Our main interview is with Oman Airports CEO and ACI World chair, Sheikh Aimen Al Hosni, who updates us on the progress of Muscat International Airport (MCT) and the development of his country’s airport system.

Oman Airports will get the chance to showcase MCT’s fantastic new terminal to the world when it hosts the inaugural Airports Innovate conference in Muscat on November 20-22.

Elsewhere in this issue of Airport World, we look at investing in airports in the Asia-Pacific region; consider the potential opportunities and challenges of eVTOL aircraft to the aviation sector; learn more about Stockholm Arlanda’s new Marketplace development; and report on some of the sustainability news stories making headlines around the world.

Also in this issue, we hear from ACI World director general, Luis Felipe de Oliveira; review some of the highlights of the recent ACI World Customer Experience Global Summit in Incheon; reflect on how investing in people and culture is essential for innovation in our regular ‘people matters’ column; and report on the latest news from ACI’s World Business Partners (WBP).

I hope you enjoy our penultimate issue of 2023 and that it can at least provide some good news at a time when there doesn’t seem to be an awful lot of it about in the world.

Ending on a lighter note, what do you think are some of the biggest failures of potential ‘next big things’, in your lifetime? Some of my friends have suggested home MiniDisc players, but surely the award has to go to the Sinclair C5 electric car? Look it up if you haven’t heard of it, it was quite different!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *