2021 trends for airport solutions

2021 trends for airport solutions

Airports have seen more changes in 2021 than in the past few decades, with the COVID-19 pandemic downing flights across the world. Travel restrictions and virus prevention methods have also become commonplace. However, as vaccination levels increase and international travel becomes viable again, there will be a huge demand for getaways, family trips and international holidays, so airports will need to be ready to let this happen safely.


Sustainable airport solutions


As consumers become more aware of the environmental impact of flying, airports, airlines and travel companies must show that they care and that they are doing what they can to reduce their negative impact. Whether it’s reducing waste, cutting emissions or offering recyclable cutlery in the food outlets, airports need to be more concerned about the environment than ever before.


Contactless payments and check-in


As we’ve seen throughout 2020, the use of cash has fallen in airports and retail spaces around the world. Contactless options are becoming essential in the time of COVID-19, and many outlets won’t accept cash. A number of airports, including Bangalore International Airport, have created an end to end contactless airport experience so customers feel safer and don’t have to touch any surfaces, which can also reduce waiting times too.


Vaccination visas?


Another more controversial trend in international travel in 2021 is the proposed use of digital health passports to confirm if a traveller has had a negative COVID test or is fully vaccinated. Though the necessity of a vaccine passport is unclear, there will definitely be a shift towards it, especially in countries still struggling to deal with the pandemic. This could, of course, lead to more checks during travelling, and it means smartphones and effective applications will be essential for the check-in process. It may also mean airport staff have to be more tech-savvy, with companies having to offer increased training to help with customers’ technical support issues.


COVID-19 safety measures


No airport in the world has been unaffected by COVID-19 and things are going to look very different for travellers when they return to the skies. As flights have been reduced, quarantine measures have been used and international travel bans have been introduced, airports have had to adapt quickly. Many airports now have COVID-19 test centres, as well as screens, sanitising facilities, social distancing measures and mask policies. Effective signage, virus prevention measures and increased cleaning should be in place as soon as possible.


Streamlining the airport experience


Like many of the airport trends in 2021, technological advances have transformed the way airports run. By reducing human contact during an airport experience, from biometric check-in to contactless payments and asking customers to bring their own devices, a more streamlined and efficient process has become prevalent. Other recent advances include biometric checks which can increase security, as well as temperature checks, which will be commonplace. However, because of streamlining, this hasn’t resulted in extra issues. These processes have required complex problem-solving and innovative solutions which will be vital for airports in 2021.