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Tech trends shaping air travel in Nigeria

Tech trends shaping air travel in Nigeria

The future of airports is poised to be dynamic and transformative, driven by technological advancements, changing passenger expectations, and the need for sustainability.

Across the globe, airports are embracing cutting-edge technologies to redefine the travel experience for passengers, which is ushering in an era of efficiency, safety, and convenience.

In Nigerian airports, certain transformative steps have already been taken to promote this revolutionary goal for the industry. First the E-Gates facility is currently being installed at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja and the E-border data and control centre at the Nigeria Immigration Service headquarters.

Read also: Frustrated passengers demand clearer communication at airports

Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, minister of interior said “Upon completion across all the five (5) International Airports in the country, the E-gates will reduce human contact and give Nigerians seamless entrance into the country while the E-border system will enhance national security.”

Another noticeable step taken was the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria’s (FAAN) participation in the recent 71st Airports Council International (ACI) Africa Board Meeting, Regional Committee Meetings, and Regional Conference and Exhibition held in Cairo, Egypt. At the event, FAAN emphasised the importance of collaboration, technological innovation, and enhanced passenger services, signalling a strategic commitment to elevating Nigeria’s aviation standards and fostering sustainable growth in the sector.

Obiageli Orah, Director of public affairs and consumer protection, elaborated that the conference theme for 2024 was ‘Airports: Levers of Socio Economic and Sustainable Growth.’ Highlighting that the event served as a platform for African airports, global technical partners, investors, and consultants to engage in meaningful discussions. These conversations focused on the transformative agenda of airports post-COVID and aimed to shape the trajectory of aviation excellence.

Going by further research, according to CopenHagen Optimization, an airport management platform, these are some the transformative trends to be expected in airport technology poised to revolutionise the way we travel:

Automation and robotics enhance efficiency and safety:

In the evolving runway of airport operations, automation and robotics are taking centre stage. From streamlined security screenings to expedited baggage handling, airports are leveraging advanced technologies to optimise processes and enhance the passenger journey. Innovations such as automated security systems and robotic baggage handlers are paving the way for smoother and more efficient travel experiences.

Biometrics and digital identity drive contactless travel:

Biometric technology is rapidly reshaping the airport landscape, offering passengers a seamless and secure way to navigate checkpoints and boarding gates. Facial recognition and iris scanning technologies are becoming increasingly prevalent, enabling quick and contactless identity verification. Additionally, the integration of biometric boarding passes and mobile device authentication is simplifying the travel experience while maintaining high standards of security.

Read also: FG installs 30-second biometric gates for immigration clearance at airports

Contactless technology redefines airport retail:

In response to evolving passenger preferences and hygiene concerns, airports are embracing contactless technology to revolutionise retail experiences. Initiatives such as the Hudson Nonstop store, powered by Amazon’s Just Walk Out technology, offer travellers a frictionless shopping experience, eliminating the need for traditional checkout lines. These innovations not only enhance convenience but also prioritise passenger safety and comfort.

Virtual queuing streamlines passenger flow:

Virtual queuing systems are gaining traction as a means to manage passenger demand and minimise wait times at airports. Through mobile apps and digital platforms, passengers can pre-book slots in virtual queues, allowing for efficient and organised access to checkpoints and services.