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10 Touchless Solutions Across the Airport Journey Areas Airport Journey Areas Operators of airports of all sizes have found strong value in walking through the passenger and employee journey across their airport while seeking ways to improve efficiency or the customersâ experience. Several operators interviewed for this guide went through this exercise specifically to identify touchpoints and opportunities to provide a more touchless journey. Some went a step further, identifying âpersonasâ (such as business travelers versus leisure travelers) using their overall customer demographics and mapping several distinct journey profiles for each. Airport journey areas, identified in FigureÂ 3, consist of several touchpoints for passengers, employees, and other airport patrons. C H A P T E R 2 Figure 3. Airport journey areas.
Touchless Solutions Across the Airport Journey Areas 11Â Â Figure 4. Illustrations representing the airport journey areas. Summary of Solutions Along the Airport Journey Areas ere are many ways to break down the airport journey. FigureÂ 4 provides the illustrations that represent all areas of the airport journey that customers may encounter, accommodating for both passengers and employees. Number 1 indicates the Pre-Airport, number 2 indicates On-Airport areas, and number 3 is for Post-Airport. TableÂ 1 then presents a summary of solutions that can apply to each area. Solution Name Journey Areas Access Control Systems â¢ â¢ â¢ Automated Access Systems â¢ â¢ â¢ Automated Car Park Systems â¢ Autonomous Wheelchairs â¢ Baggage Divesting Solutions â¢ Baggage Prepping Solutions Baggage Screening Systems â¢ â¢ Biometric Technology â¢ â¢ â¢ â¢ â¢ Elevator-Related Solutions â¢ â¢ â¢ â¢ â¢ â¢ Enhanced Surface-Cleaning- Related Solutions â¢ â¢ â¢ â¢ â¢ â¢ Feedback Devices â¢ â¢ â¢ Food Ordering and Delivery License Plate Recognition Online Service Booking â¢ Parking Entry and Exit Kiosks Parking Pay-on-Foot Kiosks Parking Reservation Systems â¢ Passenger-Assistance-Related Solutions â¢ â¢ â¢ â¢ â¢ Personal Hygiene and Health- Related Solutions â¢ â¢ â¢ â¢ â¢ Queue Management Systems â¢ â¢ â¢ Remote Bag Drop â¢ Restroom-Related Solutions â¢ â¢ â¢ â¢ â¢ â¢ Retail Ordering and Delivery â¢ â¢ Self-Service Bag-Drop Self-Service Kiosks â¢ â¢ â¢ Signage â¢ â¢ â¢ â¢ â¢ â¢ Smart Building Systems â¢ â¢ â¢ â¢ â¢ â¢ Travel Reservation (TNC, Taxi, GT, Rail) Travel Health-Related Solutions â¢ â¢ â¢ â¢ â¢ â¢ â¢ â¢ â¢ â¢ â¢ â¢ â¢ â¢ â¢ â¢ â¢ â¢ â¢ â¢ â¢ â¢ â¢ â¢ â¢ â¢ â¢ â¢ â¢ â¢ â¢ â¢ â¢ â¢ â¢ Table 1. Solutions along the airport journey areas (ordered alphabetically). (continued on next page)
12 Toward a Touchless Airport Journey Health and Safety Revenue Generation Customer Accessibility Operational Efficiency Customer Experience Space Optimization Figure 5. Value areas of touchless solutions. Walkthrough of the Airport Journey Areas Expanding on TableÂ 1, the following provides a walkthrough of each airport journey area and identies which touchless solutions apply to each. is section also aligns solutions with the value areas (FigureÂ 5) discussed in ChapterÂ 1. Each section uses the icons in shown in FigureÂ 5 to identify the value areas addressed by the solution. Solution Name Journey Areas TSA Credential Authentication Technology TSA Enhanced Advanced Imaging Technology Virtual/Digital Queue Solutions â¢ â¢ â¢ â¢ Water Bottle Filling Stations â¢ â¢ â¢ â¢ â¢ â¢ â¢ NOTE: TNC = transportation network companies (e.g., Lyft and Uber); GT = ground transportation; TSA = Transportation Security Administration. â¢ â¢ â¢ â¢ Table 1. (Continued). Note that some technology solutions may appear multiple times in dierent journey areas (e.g., self-service kiosks) because although they are the same basic technology, they have varying functions in dierent portions of the journey. Also, note that Implementation Highlights came from interviews with stakeholders unless indicated otherwise through endnotes. Solutions that specifically apply to when a passenger is at home or work, in a car, at the train station, or other areas leading to their arrival to the airport property. e pre-airport stage is a critical area contributing to a touchless experience that is only growing as technology and service models mature and passengers grow more accustomed to pre-airport activities. Solutions enable passengers to either remotely complete airport processes
Touchless Solutions Across the Airport Journey Areas 13Â Â or take steps ahead of traveling to reduce or eliminate touchpoints once at the airport. Many solutions involve providing information about services and products available at the airport that can improve guest experience and generate revenue. Parking Reservation Systems (Pre-Airport Registration) Parking reservation systems enable passengers to prebook and pay for parking before they arrive, eliminating the need for a payment interaction with a cashier or kiosk at the airport. Additional functionality allows the passenger to select the type of parking (e.g., standard, premier, electric), receive prebooking discounts, and reserve additional services such as car washing and detailing. Technology Readiness: Existing and mature technology. Barriers: It is necessary to educate the public that the technology is available to reserve their parking spot before arriving at the airport. Implementation Highlights: MSP implemented this system to lower the number of parking kiosk touches and agent interactions. PHX began implementing the parking reservation system before COVID-19 to simplify operations in the parking facility; now, all facilities are included in the reservation system. Airports such as RDU, PIT, SFO, and SEA have also implemented these systems. Getting Started: For airports wanting to get started but needing to consider a tight budget, the rst suggested step is to have a conversation with your parking management rm. Laying out a long-term strategy can help justify costs and a strategy for purchasing a base system with room to grow. At a minimum, users should be able to reserve a spot in the parking facility and receive a QR code to use when entering and exiting the parking facility. If your airport has an installed parking and revenue control system, the infra- structure costs are minimal. Most of the costs are system and conguration services. Virtual/Digital Queue Solutions (Pre-Airport Registration) Virtual queue (VQ) solutions can be used to turn any physical queue into a digital queue. To date, VQ solutions are most notably applicable to queues for security; however, they can be useful at all queuing locations throughout the airport facility, such as check-in or immigration. Solutions that allow for entry into the VQ before airport arrival can reduce the amount of time a passenger must stand in a physical line, which eases congestion at the checkpoint. Technology Readiness: Existing and emerging technology. Barriers: It is necessary to educate the public that technology is available to reserve their time to go through security before arriving at the airport. VQ technology is not new; however, its usage in airports is new. You should expect âbumps in the roadâ as you begin to deploy. Implementation Highlights: SEA (2) and LAX (3) have recently trialed virtual queu- ing solutions that oer online reservations for their security checkpoints, and SEA has funded theirs as a concept through 2022. DEN (4) piloted VeriFLY, which allowed health-conscious passengers to prebook time online for a separate screening lane. Most recently, CLEAR allows passengers to reserve a time slot online for security at MCO (5). Although it is currently on hold due to the pandemic, YUL was the rst airport to oer online reservations for security in 2014.
14 Toward a Touchless Airport Journey Getting Started: Start by opening discussions with airline stakeholders. Pre-airport entry into a VQ will most likely begin with an airline. So far, only a handful of airlines have participated in airport pilots, including AS and DL. Of those that have, all have come back to say this is the way of the future. Understanding your key airline directives will help you get started more quickly. Initial VQ systems impact the userâs mobile device and the airport or airline websites. Since the systems will be driven by applications that link the user to information (APIs), most of the costs are system and conguration services. However, early deployments require airport sta to manage entry to the physical queue; automation of this process will require technology solutions such as eGates and biometrics, which increase airport infrastructure and system costs. Additionally, a VQ solution improves its eciency as queuing data are integrated; if your airport does not have a queue management system, this too may be an additional cost item. See the âSecurityâ section of the journey for more information on VQ technology. Baggage Divesting Solutions Remote Bag Drop Baggage Pickup or Delivery Some solutions allow passengers to check baggage before airport arrival. is includes using a baggage delivery service or dropping o bags at remote bag-drop locations, allowing passengers to streamline the check-in process or bypass the check-in lobby altogether. Technology Readiness: Existing technology. Barriers: While baggage delivery services are convenient, most require pick up as much as 24Â hours in advance for a fee. Implementation Highlights: Passengers going to HKG can check their bags using the In-Town Check-In Service at the Mass Transit Railway. Bags, Inc. allows passengers to check luggage directly from the pier of their cruise ship, meaning they can travel to the airport without the burden of baggage. Getting Started: Baggage divestment before airport arrival is an option that can be tailored based on passenger needs. For example, a remote bag drop at a nearby airport hotel frequently used by passengers may be a good location to focus on initially. Remote bag drop has also been used in locations such as cruise ports, resorts, and convention centers. Biometric Technology (Pre-Enrollment) Airports and jurisdictional agencies have been considering and trialing several use cases for biometric technologies to remove some of the physical and manual airport processes. Biometrics can be obtained from a passengerâs face, eyes, or nger; however, the facial biometric is most oen used in the United States. Most of these technologies involve some level of pre- airport enrollment from the passenger. e technology behind the facial biometric enrollment captures an image of the passengerâs face, creates what is called a âdigital identityâ that is not an actual image of the person, then destroys the initial image takenâall in a process that can take only a handful of seconds. is digital identity can be used throughout the passengerâs journey to automate several manual processes to improve the customer experience and remove touchpoints. For example, by scanning the facial biometric, a check-in kiosk could retrieve a passengerâs reservation, a coee shop could access the passengerâs payment method, and the airline could automatically board
Touchless Solutions Across the Airport Journey Areas 15Â Â a passenger without scanning a boarding pass. All of this supports a touchless experience, and it would start at the pre-airport stage of passenger enrollment into the program. However, it is important to note the following barriers to a fully seamless biometric airport journey experience. â¢ First, since there is not yet a common industry-wide standard for creating and storing the digital identity, solution providers in this space have created proprietary methods that do not automatically align with each other. On the jurisdictional front, the CBP has estab- lished its TVS as its means for biometric identity. Although the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and the CBP have discussed potential shared uses, no decisions have been made. For other airport and airline implementations, solution providers each have their own means of producing the biometric identity. is creates the potential challenge of passengers needing to enroll in several similar programs to experience the full set of services oered at an airport. â¢ Second, there are regulatory barriers related to privacy concerns at the federal level and in many states. Some regulations were developed with conventional processes in mind that do not necessarily align with biometric processes. ough the aviation industry has several challenges to overcome, this guide presents potential solutions that airports that are willing to lead can consider. e guide also mentions several pilot programs that are currently seeking to identify solutions to common challenges. Technology Readiness: Existing and emerging technology. Barriers: Detailed above. Implementation Highlights: ATL, DL, and TSA (6) are currently running a facial biometrics trial that allows an end-to-end digital identity experience for a touchless experience at bag drop, security, and boarding. Passengers must have TSA PreCheck, be a Delta SkyMiles member, check in online, and provide passport information before heading to the airport. Other Implementation Highlights for later areas of the journey are noted in corresponding sections of this guide. Getting Started: An ePassport provides a means to use biometric processes without additional pre-airport steps. Regardless of where an airport may have a priority con- sideration for using biometrics (e.g., self-bag-drop, security, or boarding), it is recom- mended to have a conversation with prospective solution providers and key stakeholders to discuss the long-term potential of an end-to-end journey as well as how the means of capturing the biometric identity will hinder or promote such a journey process. Online Service Booking Club/Lounge MeetingSpace Traveler with Disabilities Registration Wheelchair Business Center Car Detailing Online booking of these services can streamline the passengerâs experience at the airport. Some services apply more to the airline, but some could also be provided by the airport. For example, those who need wheelchair service and assistance from the entry to the aircra can benet by booking this on the airlineâs website. Airport operators can oer lanyards for travelers with dis- abilities or who need additional assistance through online reservations and communications through emails and phone calls to the airport. Recently, some airport operators have made food and beverage, retail, and duty-free purchases available online or via a mobile app to allow passengers to pick up items on the way to the gate or have items delivered to their gate upon arrival.
16 Toward a Touchless Airport Journey Technology Readiness: Existing and mature technology. Barriers: Educating the public that these technologies are available. Implementation Highlights: MLB has implemented sunower lanyards that recognize travelers who may have cognitive issues. PHX and SEA have implemented a similar service. Airports such as MCO have a program that allows travelers who need assis- tance to experience traveling in advance of their actual travel plans. Related to food and beverage, HMSHost (7) is working with partners to enable passengers to order food before they get to the airport. Getting Started: Airports can initially target specic services and include reservation alternatives through their website for passengers and/or their airport apps. Airports need to review their existing websites to create links for easy access to reservation alter- natives for these services. Passenger-Assistance-Related Solutions Website Chatbots Mobile Apps Social Media ese tools are great ways to share information on the touchless options an airport operator can oer to its customers. For example, recently, airport operators and airlines have used social media to broadcast new programs such as cleaning protocols, travel requirements, and real-time construction and trac information Technology Readiness: Existing and mature technology. Barriers: ere are no general barriers to these solutions. However, regarding messaging, it is important to say only what needs to be said to ensure that the message is communi- cated to a diverse audience properly. One potential regulatory barrier relates to freedom of speech through social media if the airport monitors comments and removes oensive or inappropriate remarks. Implementation Highlights: MSP and several other airports have used social media to communicate changes in the terminal (including touchless options) and respond to customer questions. Getting Started: Airports should initially set up a system of monitoring websites, apps, and social media to determine whether the information is being heard by the traveler and if the message is clearly communicated. Airports have developed specialists who review social media comments, respond, and create social media campaigns for specic issues. Most airports have most of the technology in place. However, the ongoing responsibility for monitoring specic communication technology sites must be acknowledged, and the division held responsible for managing the comments and ensuring the communication is eective. Travel Health-Related Solutions e IATA (8) oers the Travel Pass app to allow passengers to create a digital passport that provides a digital version of veried COVID-19 test results and vaccine information. It allows passengers to get information on where they can get tested and vaccinated and securely sends
Touchless Solutions Across the Airport Journey Areas 17Â Â the results to the airlines and border authorities, reducing the need to stand in long queues to have paper documents veried by an agent. CBPâs Mobile Passport Control (MPC) (9) app allows passengers to submit passport and customs declaration forms, which eliminates the need for a paper form or the use of an Automated Passport Control (APC) kiosk. Technology Readiness: Existing and emerging technology. Barriers: Rapidly evolving domestic and international regulatory requirements may impact solution implementation. Implementation Highlights: e IATA Travel Pass is being trialed by over 50 airlines outside of the United States. MPC is in use at 30 airports with recent pilots at IAD, PHL, and FLL (10) this year. Getting Started: Since this topic is rapidly evolving, airport operators should monitor U.S. and international initiatives aimed at streamlining travel and health checks. CBPâs MPC is an app that was launched in 2014 and is available nationwide at international airports. Honorable Mention Solutions e following solutions may not be as valuable as those already mentioned, or they may already be ubiquitous across the industry. â¢ Home-printed bag tags and electronic bag tags are great opportunities for passengers to simplify the onsite check-in process. AS oers online self-tagging where the passengers can print baggage tags from home. British Airways oers a reusable digital bag tag that allows passengers to skip the lines at check-in. â¢ Baggage prepayment has become an expanded function of online check-in for most airlines, allowing passengers to pay for checked baggage at the same time they check in online. â¢ Baggage wrapping services may be used to reduce the number of touches by others. â¢ Transportation network companies (TNCs), taxi, ground transportation, and rail services allow passengers to prebook reservations from home. While the airports may not directly implement these solutions, they may facilitate an on-airport interface by identifying pickup/ drop-o points, providing geofenced staging areas, or oering other tools to enhance the passenger experience. ese solutions bring up an important best practice for airports to consider that apply to any touchless initiative: collaborate with your stakeholders! Being 100Â percent in step with the options stakeholders are oering enables you to communicate these options to your customers. Solutions that generally apply to all common areas located on the airport campus. is section includes solutions that can generally be found in multiple areas of the airport journey (e.g., elevators and restrooms). Instead of repeatedly identifying them in each area, they are described once here.
18 Toward a Touchless Airport Journey Elevator-Related Solutions Homing Automatic Scheduling Remote Calling Touchless Buttons Foot Pedal Buttons Since elevators require users to interact with physical buttons, some airports have implemented solutions that reduce or eliminate required touchpoints. One way to do this is to alter the elevatorâs operating patterns through homing or automatic scheduling. Homing entails setting some elevators to always return to a certain oor with the doors open so passengers do not have to use the elevator call buttons. Automatic scheduling is programming an elevator to continu- ously run from oor to oor on an automatic schedule. e other way to reduce touchpoints is through alternative buttons such as remote calling, touchless buttons, or foot pedals. Remote calling features use Bluetooth or a QR code to enable a passenger to view the elevator control interface on their mobile phone. For QR code solutions, the code is placed above the elevator buttons, and when scanned, it sends users to a website on which they can interact with the elevator. Touchless buttons contain motion sensors to recognize when a user waves their hand in front of the button (FigureÂ 6). Technology Readiness: Existing and emerging technology. Barriers: Some solutions may not be intuitive. Others require a personal device, which not all users have. Implementation Highlights: PIT (11) installed wave-to-call features for outside their elevators with options for âwave for upâ and âwave for down.â Inside the elevators were options to wave for each oor; however, they did not remove the option to touch the standard elevator buttons. YWG is considering the remote elevator feature calling not only for the touchless benets but also to aid travelers with disabilities. MSP implemented the elevator homing approach. LHR has installed elevator button covers. ese covers are self-cleaning and use an antibacterial formula. Getting Started: Airports can initially implement elevator homing or automatic scheduling as a low-tech alternative. For any option, it is important to clearly commu- nicate these changes through signage placed on doors, walls, and stanchions in elevator waiting areas. Figure 6. PIT wave-to-call touchless elevator buttons (photos by Pittsburgh International Airport).
Touchless Solutions Across the Airport Journey Areas 19Â Â Restroom-Related Solutions Touchless Fixtures Increased Circulation Areas One-Way Airflow Restroom Use Monitoring Restroom remodeling has long been on the roadmap for most airports. In addition to installing touchless xtures, toilets, and dispensers, airport operators have looked for ways to present a cleaner environment. Recent eorts include enlarging the entryways to allow for physical dis- tancing, improving air ventilation, and adding monolithic walls and oors (little-to-no seams) that make areas easier to clean and more clearly reect that they are clean. Others include larger stalls with increased physical space as well as a âone way in, another way outâ approach to eliminate bottlenecks and reduce interactions among passengers. Some airport operators have added sensors to monitor restroom usage and alert sta when areas need to be cleaned as well as sensors that measure the levels in dispensers or trash cans. Additional modications include gesture control door handles and dynamic signage outside the restroom to indicate occupancy levels. Technology Readiness: Existing and emerging technology. Barriers: ere may be challenges opening the architecture of older facilities to add infrastructure. Implementation Highlights: MSP increased the size of their entryways, improved air ventilation, and added monolithic walls and oors to give a clean look. SEA and DFW (12) have installed stall-use lights and digital screens at restroom entries that display restroom availability. Flagship, an airport maintenance service provider, is beginning to look at restroom throughput, stall indicator lights, and sensors for trash cans, paper towel, tissue, and soap dispensers. MSP is using an improved ventilation approach, so the air is not shared with air in the hallways. DFW (13) has added heating, ventila- tion, and air conditioning (HVAC) system upgrades and UV technology to improve the air quality within the facility. PIT installed sensors to count people using the restroom. ey are using articial intelligence (AI) to look at the optimal cleaning schedules. YWG is testing and considering an AI solution with video cameras to alert sta when a certain number of people have gone into the restrooms. ese tools, also being considered by Flagship, can be used to build cleaning schedules based on actual facility usage instead of simply the passage of time. Getting Started: Most airports are minimally installing touchless faucets, soap dis- pensers, paper towel dispensers, and hand dryers. If an airport is already planning for a remodel or new facility construction, the more extensive options noted here become much more feasible. Enhanced Surface-Cleaning-Related Solutions Antimicrobial Coatings Cleaning Accreditation Disinfectant Sprays Escalator and People Mover Automatic Cleaning Visible Cleaning Procedures UV-C Autonomous Cleaning Robots UV-C Footwear Sanitization UV-C Pod for Wheelchairs and Trolleys Other UV-C-Related Solutions
20 Toward a Touchless Airport Journey Since there are still several surfaces that passengers and employees are required to touch throughout the airport campus, cleaning standards have been enhanced, and several technolo- gies have been introduced to mitigate the eects of required touchpoints. Cleaning protocols vary greatly across airports, but all have the intention of reducing germs on high-touch surfaces. e solutions noted here can have a large impact on the eciency and eectiveness of an airportâs cleaning eorts. Technology Readiness: Existing and emerging technology. Barriers: Health guidance and regulations seem to be regularly evolving. Implementation Highlights: LHR has added antimicrobial coatings across all key passenger touchpoints including door handles, handrails, self-service check-in kiosks, and bag-drop machines. PHX (14) added seven UV-C light sterilizers to presecurity escalatorsâ handrails. e sterilizers were placed out of sight underneath the escalators, so large signage was added to let passengers know the escalatorsâ handrails were clean. e airport then put in plans to add the sterilizers to all escalators. MSP has started using UV-C light for ventilation, handrails, and bin return. TSA in LAS (15) is testing an integrated UV-C sanitization for the bins as they pass through an automated bin return system. GRR (16) tested several UV-C light use cases including pods to sanitize wheelchairs and baggage trolleys, foot- wear sanitization stations, and a personal item chamber. EWR added a self-service bin cleaning station at security so passengers could clean bins themselves. e cleaning station included hand sanitizer, wipes, and a trash can. GRR was one of the rst airports to test the UV-C robot in baggage claim and the security checkpoint. Although it could disinfect a room without chemicals, they did not implement the technology beyond the pilot. EYW deployed their autonomous robot, R-Two-Key- Two, to clean the interior of the airport. EWR considered using autonomous robots but did not move forward with them due to cost. Instead of implementing newer technologies, YWG chose to shi their cleaning to be more visible to the passengers. GRR, SEA, and EWR received the GBAC STAR facility accreditation. Flagship helped seven of their airports go through GBAC STAR facility accreditation. DL started Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP) testing and has a global cleanliness team. Over 400 air- ports have received the ACI Airport Health Accreditation for health and safety, such as MSP, YWG, EWR, SEA, and PHX. Getting Started: Minimally, airports should seek to increase the frequency and vis- ibility of existing cleaning procedures. Several airports have formalized their cleaning procedures and achieved accreditation to reassure passengers. Passenger-Assistance-Related Solutions Ambassadors Social Media Virtual Ambassadors Augmented RealityWayfinding Wayfinding Beacons ese solutions help passengers navigate the airport, get real-time assistance, or provide feedback without having direct contact with an agent or sta member. See AppendixÂ A for more information regarding how to assist travelers with disabilities at your airport.
Touchless Solutions Across the Airport Journey Areas 21Â Â Technology Readiness: Existing and emerging technology. Barriers: It is necessary to inform the public that these technologies are available. Passengers may be hesitant to use virtual information booths if they think they are bothering the assistant with a trivial question. Implementation Highlights: SDF (17) opened a virtual information booth that allows passengers to connect to a live video feed of a volunteer airport ambassador (FigureÂ 7). e sta member is onsite but located in another place in the airport to reduce direct interaction with the user. LAX (18) launched a pilot program in Terminal 2 that provided users access to a guest experience member via a touch-free tablet with a two-way video feed. DEN and BWI (19) also have virtual information desks. UA passengers at ORD and IAH (20) can scan a QR code to launch a virtual agent for real-time assistance over their mobile devices. RDU uses a guest experience team to help communicate changes or provide help in the terminal. ey are working on a program that would include screens located throughout the airport similar to the other airports noted. HKG and MIA (21) use their beacon-enabled apps to provide interactive navigation maps or trigger location-relevant messages. SFO (22) has a beacon-enabled app that also uses Appleâs voiceover technology to give voice-based directions in real time. LGW (23) and ZRH (24) have released waynding using an augmented reality view on a passengerâs mobile device. Getting Started: Passenger assistance solutions should start by identifying the most common needs and periodically emerging needs (such as those associated with trav- eling during a pandemic) of the passengers. Initial solutions can be low tech and prog- ressively developed into touchless and seamless solutions. MSP uses volunteers to help share information and direct passengers to less-congested areas or shorter lines. TSA (25) launched â@AskTSAâ on Twitter and Facebook Messenger to help passengers locate lost items and ask about prohibited items or screening policies in real time. Figure 7. SDF Virtual Information Booth (photo by Louisville Muhammad Ali International Airport).
22 Toward a Touchless Airport Journey Smart Building Systems Lighting Ventilation Heating and Cooling e use of smart building systems can regulate various components, including lighting and ventilation, without users needing to continually interact with controls. Lighting is controlled based on occupancy and outdoor natural light levels; ventilation is driven by CO2 sensors and outdoor temperature to modulate indoor air requirements. While the adaptive nature of smart controls reduces touchpoints, the main drivers for these systems are energy eciency, cost reductions, emissions reductions, and passenger comfort. Technology Readiness: Existing and mature technology. Barriers: Complexity of the spaces and passenger ows may be complicating factors. Implementation Highlights: SEA implemented touchless lights in conference rooms and have daylight sensors control the lights in the terminal. Flagship is looking to add indoor air quality sensors. Getting Started: is solution provides opportunities to improve energy eciency and should therefore be reviewed as part of a holistic approach to building design and operations. Some standalone initiatives for specic rooms or areas could initially be deployed locally. Signage e onset of the pandemic drastically changed airport processes and how passengers and employees move through the airport campus. Signage has played a critical role in helping to communicate closures within the building, new processes, or room capacity. See AppendixÂ B for more detail regarding the signage strategy at airports. Technology Readiness: Existing and emerging technology. Barriers: Static signage is easy and cost-eective to implement, but it takes eort and additional cost to reprint and hang static signage when conditions change. Dynamic signage makes it easier to implement real-time changes; however, there are additional upfront infrastructure costs and optional ongoing content costs. Implementation Highlights: MCO (26) combined digital signage with crowd moni- toring technology to provide a visual indicator of the current capacity of holdrooms (see FigureÂ 8). Passengers can choose a less crowded place to sit based on the visual guidance. PIT changed digital signage by the trains to let passengers know when the next train is coming. Knowing that a train is coming shortly aer the current train enables passengers to make the decision that they do not need to pack onto the current train. MSP used dynamic signage to communicate security wait times to help passen- gers choose the least congested checkpoint. PIT and SEA used light and humorous signage with a local-centric feel and avor to communicate their messaging regarding new processes.
Touchless Solutions Across the Airport Journey Areas 23Â Â Getting Started: Airports can add static signage on the oors, walls, and overhead. As signage is used in all areas of the airport, consider developing a signage plan to help identify priority areas and to establish a means of considering new signage points. However, be aware of and plan for any permanent impacts of signage installations to surfaces. Figure 8. MCO Airport: Synectâs Evenow Crowd Radar and ReadySeeGo (photos by Synect). Queue Management Systems Behind the scenes, queue management systems allow airport operators to analyze their queue levels and view real-time data. ese solutions allow for advanced data analysis that can be used to make changes in stang levels, queue layouts, and airport schedules to reduce queue peaks. Additional features allow for real-time and predictive wait time metrics that can be shared with passengers via a website, an app, or dynamic signage. At the height of a pandemic, it is important to ensure the traveling public is maintaining a safe distance and areas are not overly populated. Queue management systems provide airport operators with the capabilities to manage crowd density, monitor social distancing metrics, and apply business rules to help with mask detection (as needed). Technology Readiness: Existing and emerging technology. Barriers: Queue management systems need cameras or sensors to capture the queue. e height of the ceiling in an area can oen pose issues with the viewing angle or dis- tance. In addition, there may be some diculty conguring areas in the soware if the queue lanes change oen. Implementation Highlights: GRR has a queue management system that can report the number of passengers in the queuing areas and measure the distance between passengers. ey were able to use this data to better manage their queue lines, inform TSA of times when they should sta up, and inform airlines coming in of the more crowded times. MSP uses analytics to see where they can monitor and improve utiliza- tion to enhance the experience. ey noted business intelligence and the ability to look ahead at ight schedules and passenger ows, ticket counters, and checkpoints. MIA (27) uses motion analytics technology to measure the distance between passengers and gather data about passenger movements while in the queue. SEA is in the process of integrating their queue management system with the new virtual queuing system. Getting Started: Advertising waiting times based on manual time keeping or assessing the time between a boarding pass scan at the beginning and the end of the queue can be an initial solution for those unable to implement a full system.
24 Toward a Touchless Airport Journey Honorable Mention Solutions e following solutions may not be as valuable as those already mentioned, or they may already be ubiquitous across the industry. â¢ Personal hygiene and health-related solutions: In response to the pandemic, most airports began to add personal hygiene and health-related solutions around the terminal. For example, EWR added plexiglass across all concessions, check-in, and gate podiums to minimize the direct interaction between passengers and sta. In place of other solutions such as UV light or antimicrobial coatings, PIT positioned hand sanitizer stations on both sides of doors and near anywhere there would be food handling. In addition, they placed automatic hand wash- ing stations outside the train (see FigureÂ 9). â¢ Touchless water bottle lling stations: Water bottle lling stations support the importance of drinking water during air travel and promote sustainable behaviors. Touchless stations use sensor technology that is identical to that of water faucets used in restrooms and allows users to rell their bottles without touching the drinking fountain. ese stations were especially important during the beginning of the pandemic when most drinking fountains were turned o for safety. Airports such as SDF, SFO, and MKE oer touchless water bottle lling stations. â¢ Feedback devices: Capturing passenger feedback within the terminal is a critical piece of assessing operational eciency and customer satisfaction. ATL (28) trialed touchless feed- back devices that allow the passenger to give a thumbs up or thumbs down gesture instead of pushing a button on a device. Other solutions employ a QR code that sends a user to a website on their mobile phone to give feedback. Figure 9. PIT automatic hand washing station (photo by Pittsburgh International Airport). Solutions that specifically apply to parking garages and lots, entry roadways, intermodal facilities, curbside, or other related areas. Every airport has a unique series of roadways, parking areas, and intermodal facilities. e airportâs parking and arrival and exit areas involve a transportation mode transfer, oen from a private car. e focus in this area of the journey is on minimizing touchpoints and interactions
Touchless Solutions Across the Airport Journey Areas 25Â Â with people to complete the intermodal transfer, whether through a prebooked car parking reservation and payment or prebooked public or private transit options. e following solutions can help make these areas more touchless. Parking Reservation Systems ese systems enable users who have prebooked a parking reservation to present a QR code to gain entrance to a parking facility. Users are later able to exit the facility by scanning the same QR code, which allows them to bypass the payment kiosk or cashier. An emerging trend is combining the parking reservation system with license plate recognition (LPR) technology. is allows users to skip scanning a QR code upon exit. See the later section regarding LPR for more detail. Technology Readiness: Existing and mature technology. Barriers: Clear guidance for exception management is required in the case of a lost or unreadable QR code. Implementation Highlights: MSP implemented this system to lower the number of parking kiosk touches and agent interactions. PHX and SDF began implementing the parking reservation system before COVID-19 to simplify operations in the parking facility, but during the initial months of the pandemic, they recognized many of these simplied operations were touchless enhancements; now, all facilities are included in the reservation system. Airports such as RDU, PIT, SFO, and SEA have also implemented these systems. Getting Started: A rst step is to have a conversation with your parking management rm and identify quick wins that could enable passengers to prepay parking and get a conrmation/code that provides seamless access once at the airport. Parking Entry and Exit Kiosks Many airports have already implemented ticket kiosks at the parking facility entrance and payment kiosks at the exit, which eliminate the need for passengers to interact with a cashier. Technology Readiness: Existing and mature technology. Barriers: Clear guidance for exception management is required in the case of a lost or unreadable ticket. Implementation Highlights: GTR recently implemented this approach, noting that, in addition to the touchless benets, they were also able to recover revenue. Getting Started: A rst step is to discuss with your parking management rm any quick wins that could enable passengers to pay for parking without seeing the sta. Parking Pay-on-Foot Kiosks Parking pay-on-foot kiosks allow customers to stop at a kiosk and pay for their parking fees before approaching the exit. Although many of these kiosks do not oer touchless or contactless payments yet, they do reduce interactions with the cashiers. Technology Readiness: Existing and mature technology. Barriers: Clear guidance for exception management is required in the case of a lost or unreadable ticket.
26 Toward a Touchless Airport Journey Implementation Highlights: Airports such as SFO, RNO, SMF, ATL, SEA, and TUS have implemented parking pay-on-foot kiosks. RDU customers have the option of contactless payments using their smart phone and watches. Getting Started: A rst step is to discuss with your parking management rm any quick wins that could enable passengers to pay for parking without seeing sta, such as through payment at a kiosk before exiting. License Plate Recognition LPR technology can be used to capture the customerâs license plate on arrival and connect it to their reservation or parking ticket. en, upon exit, LPR technology reads the plate, retrieves the customer record, and either (a) displays the fee total on the screen without requiring inter- action or (b) automatically opens the exit gate (for users who have already provided payment information). Optionally, users can nd their cars using a kiosk that uses LPR technology within the parking facility. is eliminates the need to call an attendant to help locate lost vehicles. Technology Readiness: Existing and mature technology. Barriers: Privacy and consumer protection regulations may be applicable. License plate covers or bad lighting may prevent the system from getting a good read. Implementation Highlights: RDU (29) has implemented LPR that automatically displays the fee for those who need to make payment and opens the exit gate for those who used the parking reservation system. SLC (30) is using LPR to oer nd- your-car functionality as an extension of the parking guidance system. Other uses for LPR include ATL (31) using LPR for inventory and audit purposes, and DFW (32) utilizing LPR to help prevent fraud. YWG is considering a pay-by-plate technology. Getting Started: Airports will likely already have parking solutions implemented and should therefore reach out to their parking management provider to identify whether they have LPR functionality. Virtual/Digital Queue Solutions VQ solutions can be used to turn any physical queue into a digital queue. In this portion of the journey, QR codes can be posted in the parking facility to allow passengers to scan and join a VQ in real time as they head to the airport terminal. Another way for passengers to join the queue can be done through the integration of applications such as TNCs and parking systems with the VQ system. A variation of the VQ is available for taxi drivers that allows drivers to join a digital queue without being in a physical queue. Very similar to the functionality provided for TNCs, this functionality alerts drivers when it is time to return to the airport for a pickup. is can reduce the need for taxi drivers to interact with a parking attendant, as well as reduce congestion in the staging area. Technology Readiness: Existing and emerging technology. Barriers: It is necessary to educate the public that this technology is available to reserve a spot in the taxi queue before arriving at the airport terminal. Implementation Highlights: MSP deployed âeDispatchâ in 2019 to allow drivers to join a VQ from their smartphones. PANYNJ is currently deploying a virtual dispatch
Touchless Solutions Across the Airport Journey Areas 27Â Â system that eliminates the need for large holding areas at JFK, LGA, and EWR. SFO (33) utilizes the âTaxiQâ phone application which allows drivers head of the line queue privileges aer a short trip. Getting Started: As with the indoor VQ solution, airport operators could have drivers join the queue using a QR code located in specic portions of the airport. Remote Baggage Drop Remote baggage drop allows passengers to check baggage before they arrive at the main airport terminal. In this step of the journey, remote bag-drop locations allow passengers to streamline their check-in process or bypass the check-in lobby altogether. Technology Readiness: Existing and mature technology. Barriers: ere are regulatory requirements for bag acceptance, bonding, and screening. Implementation Highlights: TPA (34) allows passengers to check their bags at the rental car center so they can skip the queues at the main terminal. Airports such as BOS (35), LAS, SFO, and PHX have also implemented remote bag drop. Getting Started: is solution should be reviewed as part of a broader assessment of check-in demand and capacity to highlight locations in car parking and drop-o areas that would specically benet from a bag drop-o facility. Self-Service Kiosks Mobile Screen Control Key Fobs Hover Screen Control Self-service kiosks allow users to complete functions without the direct assistance of an employee or agent. In this portion of the journey, self-service check-in kiosks can be used to allow passengers to check-in for their ight, purchase seat upgrades, change seat assignments, and print baggage tags (see the âLandsideâ section for additional technology details). ese kiosks are typically located in the main airport terminal; however, many airports have kiosks located in the rental car center, parking garage, or other remote locations. Technology Readiness: Existing and mature technology. Barriers: Regulatory requirements related to identity checks, bag tag activation, and travel health checks may impact kiosk features or subsequent processes. Implementation Highlights: MCO has kiosks located in their intermodal facility to help passengers prepare for their journey before arriving at the main terminal. Getting Started: is solution should be reviewed as part of a broader assessment of check-in demand and capacity to highlight locations in car parking and drop-o areas that would specically benet from the deployment of check-in kiosks. Also, consider any potential issues in placing these kiosks outdoors in the humidity and exposure to rain. Automated Car Park Systems Airport operators are testing several applications of automated car park systems for passenger vehicles and rental car eets. e potential of this solution is growing as AI and automation are enhanced.
28 Toward a Touchless Airport Journey Technology Readiness: Existing and emerging technology. Barriers: Barriers exist in the areas of cost-benet, technology readiness, and buy-in from users. Implementation Highlights: Airports such as CDG, LYS, LGW (36), and DUS (37) are using automated car valets that use autonomous robot valets to park cars. STR (38) is testing another variation of the automated car park system that will allow drivers to use their smartphone to tell their car where to park. Getting Started: ese systems are complex and costly. Airports should initially identify a specic application and location where such a system would solve operational issues or maximize the use of a constrained area. See the âOn-Airportâ section of this guide for additional solutions that may apply to this area, depending on the specics of your airport. Solutions that specifically apply to the check-in lobby, landside concessions and shopping areas, and baggage claim. Landside relates to all processes, touchpoints, and discretionary actions that a passenger and sta can undertake prior to security screening or aer arriving on a ight and clearing relevant border processes if applicable. e following solutions apply specically to this area of the journey. Autonomous Wheelchairs Autonomous wheelchairs help those with reduced mobility get through the airport without close contact with an attendant and without the wait for an available attendant. ese wheel- chairs have anti-collision capabilities using sensor technology and automatic brakes as they navigate through the building. Aer delivering passengers to their destination, the wheelchair drives itself back to the docking station. Technology Readiness: Emerging technology. Barriers: Regulations around automation evolve as trials are pursued. ere are also navigation issues in crowded concourses and multilevel facilities. Implementation Highlights: YWG has piloted autonomous wheelchairs in the parking lot, at the curb, and at the check-in counter. Other pilots include TPA (39), DFW (40), JFK (41), HND (42), and AUH (43). Getting Started: Existing wheelchair operations should be reviewed to identify appli- cations or locations where the implementation of an autonomous wheelchair could be considered.
Touchless Solutions Across the Airport Journey Areas 29Â Â Self-Service Kiosks Mobile Screen Control Key Fobs Hover Screen Control Self-service kiosks allow users to complete functions without the direct assistance of an employee or agent. In this portion of the journey, self-service kiosks can allow passengers to check-in for their ight, purchase seat upgrades, change seat assignments, and print baggage tags. In response to the pandemic, several solutions have emerged to reduce passenger interaction with the kiosk, including hover technology or mobile control using either Bluetooth or a QR code. Separate from check-in kiosks, quick bag tag printing kiosks provide another option to quickly print bag tags. Technology Readiness: Existing and emerging technology. Barriers: Regulatory requirements related to identity checks, bag tag activation, and travel health checks may impact kiosk features or subsequent processes. Passenger adoption varied greatly across airports. Implementation Highlights: PIT check-in kiosks display a QR code that passengers can scan to (a) select options on the screen or (b) drive a mouse pointer. MSP is exploring the touchless kiosk solution, which utilizes a QR code and allows the passenger to complete all transactions on their phone. EWR is looking into using the mobile phone as a mouse on the kiosk. RDU is exploring adding touchless capabilities on their kiosks directly using the airline apps. SEA piloted a âhappyhoverâ overlay on the kiosk that allows the passenger to select options available at the kiosks without direct touch; however, they noted that passenger adoption was low. Similarly, HKG added proximity sensors for check-in kiosks that allowed passengers to interact with the screen by hovering over it without touching it. Getting Started: Airports can provide low-cost key fob or stylus tools to give passengers the option to touch the screen with a separate object. Another obvious solution is to place hand sanitizer stations near the kiosk. Additional options and features should be reviewed with manufacturers and should focus on solutions that can easily be implemented and adopted by passengers. Self-Service Bag Drop Self-service bag-drop systems allow passengers to induct baggage into the baggage handling system without direct interaction with an agent. ese units perform the following functions: (a) verify the passengerâs identity, (b) print the bag tag(s), (c) measure and weigh the bag, (d) optionally accept payment for extra or overweight baggage, and (e) accept the bag into the baggage handling system. Recent pilot projects have incorporated the use of facial biometrics and the TSAâs database to verify the passengerâs identity to make it a touchless, seamless expe- rience. Self-service bag-drop systems can be installed in a one-step (all passenger functions at the unit) or two-step (check-in and bag tagging at a self-service kiosk rst) fashion, depending on airport and airline preferences. Technology Readiness: Existing and emerging technology. Barriers: ere are barriers in regulatory requirements around baggage acceptance and use of biometrics as well as the need for user buy-in. Implementation Highlights: ATL (44) features a biometric, touchless, end-to-end experience that starts in a dedicated space called the Delta-TSA PreCheck Express Lobby and Bag Drop (see FigureÂ 10). Passengers who check in on the Delta mobile app and who
30 Toward a Touchless Airport Journey are members of Deltaâs SkyMiles program and TSA PreCheck can use their face to com- plete the self-service bag-drop process. Other airports with self-service bag-drop units include DEN (45), HKG (46), LGA (47), LHR (48), ORD (49), LAS (50), HND (51), and SIN (52). Previous self-bag-drop pilots have been completed at MSP (53) and LAX (54). Getting Started: Bag-drop units should be assessed as part of a broader check-in strategy. Some models can be retrotted into existing counters to minimize infrastruc- ture requirements. Figure 10. ATL self-service bag drop (photos by Delta Air Lines). Virtual/Digital Queue Solutions VQ solutions can be used to turn any physical queue into a digital queue. In this landside portion of the journey, QR codes can be posted around the terminal to allow passengers to scan and join any VQ that the airport is oering. Although the recent VQ uses in airports have focused on security, it could be very benecial to use VQ for landside queues such as those in the check-in hall. Technology Readiness: Existing and emerging technology. Barriers: It is necessary to inform the public that this technology is available. VQ tech- nology is not new; however, its usage in airports is new. Currently, the total cost of this solution is still unknown. Implementation Highlights: Passengers who wanted to use the VQ pilot in BOS scanned QR codes located near the airport entrance. In addition to online reservations, passengers can scan onsite QR codes to join the VQ in real time at SEA and LAX. Getting Started: Alternate methods to join the VQ include providing onsite kiosks or posting a phone number so users can text to join the queue. Biometric Technology Biometric technology solutions can be added to self-service kiosks and self-bag-drop units to automate identity verication during the passenger journey. Biometrics can be obtained from a passengerâs face, eyes, or nger; however, the facial biometric is most oen used in the United States. In this portion of the journey, if the passenger has not yet enrolled their biometrics into the program, the passenger would do so before their biometrics could be validated. More recently, biometrics are also being discussed as an addition to VQ solutions.
Touchless Solutions Across the Airport Journey Areas 31Â Â Technology Readiness: Existing and emerging technology Barriers: ere are barriers in privacy regulations, the need for user buy-in, and a seam- less opt-in process. See the âPre-Airportâ section of this guide for more detail. Implementation Highlights: HKG currently has facial recognition enrollment at the check-in kiosks, which is stored as the passenger âsingle token.â e IATA One ID uses your face as your identity, looking at biometrics to remove the need to stop at every point to show documents. IATA is trying to design how this technology will be used to improve the passenger process, not only for airline touchpoints but also for border patrol and security. DL has launched the rst fully biometric terminal, which oers a curb-to-gate biometric experience for international customers. SFO (55) is trialing a biometric-enabled airport experience in which passengers link their driverâs license to their facial biometric at check-in. e passenger then scans their face to complete check-in, bag drop, and boarding. Getting Started: e use of biometrics should be assessed across the entire passenger journey. Standalone applications using the ePassport may initially be easier to imple- ment as its use does not require pre-enrollment. Automated Access Systems Electronic gates (eGates) are automated barriers that allow passengers to manually scan a boarding pass or undergo biometric verication to gain access to another area (see the âSecurityâ section for additional technology details.) eGates have typically been utilized at boarding gates in the United States and are beginning to see wider adoption in other portions of the airport. Technology Readiness: Existing and emerging technology. Barriers: Gates must demonstrate an equivalent level of compliance to a manual check. Implementation Highlights: TPA (56) recently added eGates to ensure passengers board the correct shuttle to the airside (see FigureÂ 11). Passengers scan their boarding pass; the system checks to make sure they are going to the correct airside, then they are granted access to board the shuttle. Getting Started: Regulatory requirements should be reviewed in detail to ensure the eGates specications meet the required outcome. Figure 11. TPA eGates (photos by EASIER).
32 Toward a Touchless Airport Journey Honorable Mention Solutions Honorable mention should be made for the following solutions in this area of the journey: â¢ Spirit Airlinesâ virtual assistance implementation of the baggage service oce: Instead of stang agents in a small baggage service oce, Spirit has added QR codes on signage and allowed passengers to interact with virtual agents to make a claim for lost baggage. â¢ Retail, food and beverage purchase, and delivery options should also be considered for this portion of the journey (see the âAirsideâ section for additional technology details). â¢ Access control systems help secure sensitive areas of the airport from the traveling public (see the âBack of Houseâ section for additional technology details). See the âOn-Airportâ section of this guide for additional solutions that may apply to this area, depending on the specics of your airport. Solutions that apply to staff-specific areas such as baggage processing and airport management offices. Back of house is a sta-specic environment with workplace measures like those available to passengers to minimize touchpoints. Access Control Systems Access control systems help secure sensitive areas of the airport from the traveling public. ese systems traditionally allow access using a badge, pin code, or both. Conventional access control is being improved by enhanced biometric features for a more touchless experience. Technology Readiness: Existing and emerging technology. Barriers: Access control to sterile or restricted areas is regulated. e solution must meet regulatory requirements. ere are also privacy regulations around biometrics. Implementation Highlights: All airports deploy access control systems. Interviews did not draw out specic insights on how these airports are moving to touchless opera- tions. Some solution providers oer technology that marries video sensors with an AI algorithm to quickly recognize the face before a user approaches a door. e Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (57) uses Restricted Area Identity Cards with dual biometric access control (iris and ngerprint). Getting Started: Access control is driven by regulations applicable to the airport and must be minimally met. Honorable Mention Solution Honorable mention should be made for checked baggage screening systems, specically com- puterized axial tomography (CT) x-ray baggage screening systems that provide 3D images that can be rotated on three axes for a complete image analysis. e unit analyzes the 3D images using
Touchless Solutions Across the Airport Journey Areas 33Â Â sophisticated algorithms that can detect explosives, weapons, and other prohibited items in checked baggage. e CT scanners reduce the need for baggage to be manually checked by a TSA agent. See the âOn-Airportâ section of this guide for additional solutions that may apply to this area, depending on the specics of your airport. Examples for back of house include restrooms, elevators, surface cleaning, automated water bottle lling stations, and smart building systems. Solutions that specifically apply to the security screening areas managed by the Transportation Security Administration. e security screening process is historically a manual process with several steps of sta inter- action. Increasingly, technology and process enhancements are enabling reduced touchpoints and interactions. Virtual/Digital Queue Solutions VQ solutions can be used to turn any physical queue into a digital queue. Users can join the queue before arriving or once they have arrived at the airport terminal (see the âPre-Airportâ and âLandsideâ sections). In this area of the journey, passengers present their QR code to enter the screening area at their designated time. is allows for an expedited process and reduces the amount of time the passenger stands in the physical queue. A VQ can improve the customer experience, help reduce congestion, and ultimately be used to assist with load distribution during busy periods. VQ can also indirectly increase revenue by giving passengers more time to shop as well as reduce their level of stress. Technology Readiness: Existing and emerging technology. Barriers: ere is a complexity of process to getting through security when it is a passengerâs turn. ere also need to be sucient presecurity dwell areas. Implementation Highlights: SEA (58) has had great success with the Spot Saver VQ and moved it from pilot to full deployment in September 2021 (see FigureÂ 12). Sixty- three percent of surveyed passengers using SEA Spot Saver said they were able to relax or purchase something because they were not standing in line. BOS and LAX (59) are additional trial locations. Based on conversations with BOS and SEA, the pilots in 2021 showed great opportunity for VQ to atten or reduce key peaks at screening checkpoints, encouraging infrequent or nervous travelers who would usually arrive 3 to 4Â hours earlyâincreasing congestion at the busiest hoursâto feel more comfortable having a reservation and allowing the airport to suggest the time they arrive. Health-conscious passengers who opted into the VerFLY VQ pilot in DEN (60) accessed a separate screening lane and limited-capacity tram to travel to their gate. PIT is work- ing on a mobile platform that would include digital queuing technology. Although it is currently on hold due to the pandemic, YUL (61) was the rst airport to oer VQ functionality, called SecurXpress, to passengers in 2014.
34 Toward a Touchless Airport Journey Getting Started: VQ solutions at the checkpoint involved the airport, airline, and TSA. To get started, discuss the options and desires of your stakeholders. To save money, use sta to assist with the VQ-to-physical queue entry instead of fully automated eGates. According to VQ pilot program participants, gathering a baseline of the airport operatorâs and TSAâs current passenger wait times, queue lengths, and other key metrics is very helpful. An assessment will be needed to understand how many passengers per time or slot can be managed in the VQ without signicant impacts on general screen- ing queues. Figure 12. SEA Spot Saver (photos courtesy of Port of Seattle/Seattle-Tacoma International Airport). TSA Credential Authentication Technology Credential Authentication Technology (CAT) veries identication documents (driverâs license or passport) presented at the TSA security checkpoint. e CAT machine is linked electronically to TSAâs Secure Flight database. is conrms travelersâ ight details, ensuring they are ticketed for travel that day. CAT also displays any eligible prescreening status such as TSA PreCheck. ese machines eliminate the need for passengers to hand a boarding pass to a TSA agent. In many cases, the CAT machine is turned to face the passenger so they can directly insert their driverâs license, eliminating the need for the agent to handle the document. A recent enhancement pairs the CAT with a camera to validate that the identity presented to the CAT machine matches the person by capturing a live facial image, providing a biometric one-to-one match. Technology Readiness: Existing and emerging technology. Barriers: Barriers may include ID check regulations as well as the additional infrastruc- ture that is needed at the podium location. Implementation Highlights: CAT (62) is now implemented at over 120 U.S. airports including GRR, MSP, PIT, RDU, SDF, and SEA. Biometric one-to-one matching with CAT has been trialed at LAS (63) in 2019 and more recently at DCA (64). Getting Started: Airport operators should begin talks with the TSA or join TSAâs Innovation Task Force (see https://www.tsa.gov/itf for more information) to receive new features more quickly.
Touchless Solutions Across the Airport Journey Areas 35Â Â Baggage Screening Systems Like the larger CT x-ray baggage screening systems, smaller versions of the CT are used at the TSA checkpoint to screen carry-on baggage. e systems provide 3D images that can be rotated on three axes for complete image analysis. e unit analyzes the 3D images using algorithms that can detect explosives, weapons, and other prohibited items in carry-on baggage. ese CT systems allow passengers to keep laptops and electronics in bags, which reduces the direct handling by the TSA agent and expedites the screening process. Technology Readiness: Existing and mature technology. Barriers: Preboard screening is regulated. e solution must meet regulatory requirements. Implementation Highlights: Over 130 airports have implemented CT systems at pas- senger security checkpoints, including BOS, BWI, CVG, HOU, IAD, IND, JFK, LAS, LAX, MIA, OAK, ORD, PHL, PHX, SAN, and STL. Getting Started: Airport operators should begin talks with the TSA or join the Inno- vation Task Force to receive new features more quickly. Also, be aware of the space requirements of newer technology and reference the TSA Checkpoint Requirements and Planning Guide for details on the larger CT machines and the future Checkpoint Property Screening System. Automated Access Systems Electronic gates (eGates) are automated barriers that allow passengers to manually scan a boarding pass or undergo biometric verication to gain access to another area. In this portion of the journey, eGates can be used to verify identity and ensure the passenger is eligible to y, and they can be deployed using a one-step or two-step process. Currently, this is primarily available for international travel. In the one-step process, the biometric is captured and identity is veried by the TSA or CBP, and the passenger is checked using the airlineâs departure control system (DCS) and allowed to pass. In the two-step process, the biometric is captured and identity is veried by the TSA or CBP. e passenger then scans the boarding pass, is checked using the airlineâs DCS, and allowed to pass. Technology Readiness: Emerging technology. Barriers: eGates need to demonstrate an equivalent level of compliance to a manual check. Implementation Highlights: HKG implemented biometric eGates at the security checkpoint in 2018. Passengers can validate their facial biometrics compared to a pre- viously created âsingle tokenâ to gain entry. Alternatively, passengers can have their picture taken to capture their facial biometrics to create a single token at that time and gain entry. TSA at DTW, in cooperation with CBP and DL (65), began a round of testing facial comparison. is used the CBPâs TVS to enhance passenger identity verication at the TSA checkpoint. Participation in the pilot is limited to SkyMiles passengers who use Deltaâs mobile app check-in process and who participate in the Trusted Travelers pro- gram. A similar pilot started in ATL (66) in OctoberÂ 2021 and features facial biometric checks at check-in, security, and boarding. NRT and HND (67) use facial recognition to allow international travelers to check baggage and pass security without showing passports or tickets. Passengers at YEG (68) and BRS scan their boarding pass for entry.
36 Toward a Touchless Airport Journey Getting Started: Some implementations are achieved with a camera mounted on a pole. ough it does not include a physical gate, it can be an eective way to verify passengers. Honorable Mention Solution Honorable mention should be made for Enhanced Advanced Imaging Technology (eAIT), which screens passengers for prohibited items such as weapons and explosives without physical contact with a TSA agent. e open design body scanner does not produce an x-ray image but has updated algorithms that can detect prohibited items under the passengersâ clothing. is reduces the passengersâ interactions with agents and expedites the screening process. DEN (69) was the rst U.S. airport to operate eAIT. LAS (70) utilizes eAIT at their Innovation Checkpoint. See the âOn-Airportâ section of this guide for additional solutions that may apply to this area, depending on the specics of your airport. Solutions that specifically apply to the immigration and passport control area managed by U.S. Customs and Border Protection. e immigration control process is increasingly becoming touchless with travel checks occurring upstream using biometrics to conrm identity. e following solutions apply to this area. Automated Access Systems In this portion of the journey, eGates can be used to verify identity using dierent applications of biometrics including ePassports, single token, or digital identity. Technology Readiness: Existing and emerging technology. Barriers: Baseline requirements are driven by regulations, regardless of the technology used. Implementation Highlights: SIN (71) utilizes a single token biometrics process to compare the passengerâs passport information and ngerprint biometrics. Passengers in YWG and YYZ (72) provide a facial biometric that is compared to the information on their scanned NEXUS card. Passengers from the United States can now provide facial biometrics and scan their passport to gain entry at 13 airports in the UK including LGW, LHR, and MAN (73). Getting Started: Some implementations are achieved with a camera mounted on a pole. ough it does not include a physical gate, it can be an eective way to verify passengers.
Touchless Solutions Across the Airport Journey Areas 37Â Â Self-Service Kiosks Self-service kiosks allow users to complete functions without the direct assistance of an employee or agent. During this portion of the journey, passengers can use Global Entry self- service kiosks, which allow eligible passengers to scan their passport, submit ngerprints or facial biometrics, and complete their customs declaration. Although these kiosks are not completely touchless, they do reduce the amount of direct exposure to CBP agents. Technology Readiness: Existing technology. Barriers: Passengers may be reluctant to have their ngerprint or picture taken and decide to bypass this self-service option. Airports with spatial constraints may not be able to accommodate the kiosks and queues. Implementation Highlights: Global Entry (74) kiosks can be found in over 70 inter- national airports including MSP, EWR, PIT, RDU, SEA, LAX, and YWG. Getting Started: Airports can provide low-cost, no-touch stylus tools to reduce touch- points. Additional options and features should be reviewed with the manufacturer but should focus on solutions that can easily be implemented and adopted by passengers. Biometric Technology Biometric technology solutions can be used to automate identity verication during the passenger journey. Biometrics can be obtained from a passengerâs face, eyes, or nger; however, the facial biometric is most oen used in the United States. In this portion of the journey, the passenger can use their biometrics to utilize CBPâs Simplied Arrival upon entry from inter- national travel. is allows arriving passengers to submit their facial biometrics for identity validation. If matched to an existing passport or visa photo, the passenger can bypass the tradi- tional manual document processing. Technology Readiness: Existing technology. Barriers: In this portion of the journey, barriers include not having a photo available to compare to the in-person photo as well as privacy regulations, the need for user buy-in, and a seamless opt-in or opt-out process. Implementation Highlights: Simplied Arrival is deployed in LAX (75), MIA (76), TPA (77), CLT (78), and KCI (79). Getting Started: e use of biometrics should be assessed across the entire passenger journey. Standalone immigration applications using the ePassport may initially be easier to implement as its use does not require pre-enrollment. Honorable Mention Solutions Honorable mention should be made for the following solutions in this area of the journey: â¢ APC kiosks allow arriving passengers to expedite the customs entry process. ese kiosks are currently being replaced with the biometric-enabled CBP Simplied Arrival process (see the immediately previous âBiometric Technologyâ solution in this section for addi- tional technical details). â¢ Retail, food and beverage purchase, and delivery options should also be considered for this portion of the journey (see the âAirsideâ section for additional technology details). â¢ VQ may be an additional technology utilized in this area to reduce congestion and improve the customer experience (see the âSecurityâ section for additional technology details).
38 Toward a Touchless Airport Journey See the âOn-Airportâ section of this guide for additional solutions that may apply to this area, depending on the specics of your airport. Solutions that specifically apply to areas such as holdrooms, airside concessions and shopping, and other amenities. Airside relates to all processes or touchpoints that passengers and sta members encounter aer completing security screening or before completing border clearing processes upon arrival on a ight. e following solutions apply to this area. Automated Access Systems In this portion of the journey, eGates can be used to verify passenger identity and allow access to the boarding bridge. See the description provided in the âSecurityâ section of the journey for more information on this technology. Technology Readiness: Existing and emerging technology. Barriers: Baseline requirements are driven by regulations, regardless of the technology used. Implementation Highlights: MCO (80) was the rst airport in the United States to utilize eGates for biometric exit for all international ights. LAX (81) recently deployed facial biometric eGates for boarding (see FigureÂ 13). JetBlue released a fully integrated, biometric, self-boarding eGate at JFK (82) aer successful trials at JFK, BOS, and FLL (83). Passengers in SEA (84), ATL (85), and DCA (86) can board using only their facial biometric using a camera on a stick. Getting Started: Some implementations are achieved with a camera mounted on a pole. ough it does not include a physical gate, it can be an eective way to verify passengers. Figure 13. LAX biometric eGates (photo by Los Angeles World Airports, Â©2020 Joshua Sudock).
Touchless Solutions Across the Airport Journey Areas 39Â Â Food Ordering and Delivery Contactless Payment Self-Service Kiosks Self-Service Tablets Mobile App Online Purchase (Pickup or Delivery) Delivery Robots Although not fully touchless, food ordering kiosks or tablets enable passengers to bypass the long lines and order food without sta interactions. Since the pandemic, food delivery options have greatly increased in popularity. Many airports are giving passengers an option to order from restaurants using a QR code, website, or mobile device. For passengers wanting to main- tain physical distancing, airports are trying alternate delivery methods such as pick up lockers or robotic delivery systems. Technology Readiness: Existing and emerging technology. Barriers: It is necessary to inform the public that this technology is available. Another barrier is changing concessionairesâ traditional methods from counter operations to meet the ever-evolving passenger requirements. Implementation Highlights: DFW (87) and MSP airports have deployed self-service kiosks for food ordering. MSP has noted that they have seen approximately a 30Â percent increase in ordering totals when using a kiosk versus face-to-face purchases. Airports such as MSP, SEA, LAX, PHL, MDW, and SAN (88) oer mobile food ordering and delivery via a QR code, app, or website. FigureÂ 14 shows a food delivery robot at SEA. EWR (89) noted they can oer more concessions options and deliver food to satellite terminals where concessions were not yet open. MSP, SEA, LAX, PHL, MDW, and SAN (90) are also on the list of airports piloting contactless ordering systems featuring robotic food delivery. YYZ and HMSHost (91) were the rst to launch a mobile order and pick up service in the airport using Uber Eats. RDU is launching a virtual food hall or âghost kitchen,â which allows restaurants to operate from a central location and deliver food to a locker. is new concept will increase customer options without taking up additional concession space. SAT (92) just launched an automated food kiosk that prepares pizza. CLT (93) is one of the rst airports to oer a smart self-checkout kiosk. is kiosk contains items behind a door that can be opened by scanning a QR code or swiping a credit card; a camera then tracks the customerâs movements to charge for items removed from the kiosk. Once the door is closed, a UV light is activated to sanitize the remaining items. Airport operators are also looking to automate retail purchases. In addition to pre- order options on mobile devices or websites, other emerging options include retail kiosks, queueless checkout options, and contactless payments. Hudson is now oering automated retail kiosks at MYR (94), MDW (95), and SJC. Amazonâs Just Walk Out technology can be found at DAL (96) and MDW (97). Touchless self-checkout and payment are available at KCI (98), CLT (99), and LAX. is option uses AI to detect the items and display a price without human intervention. Getting Started: Most airports agree that the use of self-service kiosks can increase revenue. Airports have also shown good adoption of food delivery services; automation can come later.
40 Toward a Touchless Airport Journey Honorable Mention Solutions Honorable mention should be made for the following solutions in this area of the journey: â¢ Access control systems help secure sensitive areas of the airport from the traveling public (see âBack of Houseâ section below for additional technology details). â¢ Self-service kiosks can be used to allow passengers to change their ight, purchase seat upgrades, change seat assignments, and print additional boarding passes (see the âLandsideâ section for additional details on this technology). See the âOn-Airportâ section of this guide for additional solutions that may apply to this area, depending on the specics of your airport. Examples for airside include restrooms, queue management systems, passenger assistance, signage, elevators, surface cleaning, automated water bottle lling stations, and smart building systems. Solutions that specifically apply to airfield processes such as baggage handling and ground support. Figure 14. SEA robots for food delivery (photos courtesy of Port of Seattle/Seattle-Tacoma International Airport). e aireld primarily relates to the work environment for sta; however, it may be used by passengers being bused to another airside location or needing to walk to their gates. ough the research did not uncover signicant solution implementations in this area, the solutions noted below are worth an honorable mention. Honorable Mention Solutions Honorable mention should be made for the following solutions in this area of the journey: â¢ Access control systems help secure sensitive areas of the airport from the traveling public (see the âBack of Houseâ section for additional technology details).
Touchless Solutions Across the Airport Journey Areas 41Â Â â¢ MSP implementation of an automated solution for PartÂ 139 Airport Certication inspections required by the Federal Aviation Administration. â¢ Self-sanitizing gloves provide an innovative approach to eliminating the spread of contami- nates in operating areas. e gloves spray disinfectant on themselves and the surface upon contact. See the âOn-Airportâ section of this guide for additional solutions that may apply to this area, depending on the specics of your airport. Solutions that can move processes that typically occur on-airport to a post-airport location. e post-airport environment benets from the steps taken upstream to reduce the number of required touchpoints on the airport property. ough the research did not uncover signi- cant solution implementations in this area, there are potential solutions regarding meeting the destinationâs travel or health document requirements, receiving baggage delivery, or delivery of goods and services ordered before getting to the passengerâs destination.