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happy young couple taking a selfie at the airport gate

In 2019, business was looking good for the nation’s airports, with a record high of over a billion passengers, an almost 4% increase over 2018.

Then COVID-19 hit. Passenger traffic dropped by more than 60% in 2020, and has still not returned to pre-COVID levels. COVID caused issues beyond ridership, such as staffing shortages that resulted from workers retiring early or resigning.

…airport revenue streams have been paralysed by the unprecedented drop in aviation and commercial activity. The estimated decline in total airport revenues on a global scale is estimated to be…more than $97 billion for 2020. 

Airlines aren’t the only businesses impacted by this. Airports themselves are trying to recover from the pandemic. One key approach many are taking is to improve customer experience, often through digitalization.

There’s usually a moment in every airport visit when you have just left your flight, or your Uber, and you are trying to get your bearings when navigating the terminal. Hundreds of travelers, airport staff, and police are all moving around. Signage is everywhere. For most people, this makes the airport a confusing and stressful place to be. Not surprisingly, Google returns over 36 million results for the query “how to make the airport less stressful.”

Airports want travelers to enjoy the experience. They want us to feel comfortable, so we walk through the airport the same way we walk through a shopping mall: stopping to make purchases at the various shops and kiosks, grabbing a bite to eat, enjoying first impressions of the city it serves through art displayed in the terminal.

Improving customer experience might have started with COVID and the pivot to “touch free” technologies but it has become the starting point to a larger goal of delivering seamless experiences – ones that give passengers more help navigating the terminal, so they have more bandwidth and energy to spend inside the airport. Some of these newer technologies include:

  • Curb analytics – using camera data to understand parking and traffic patterns, prevent crowding at the curb and ticket scofflaws appropriately
  • Better signage and tracking – such as mobile apps that display real time notifications to passengers about shuttle bus arrivals
  • Integrated systems that improve efficiencies by giving airport staff real-time insights into operations, baggage, and infrastructure
  • A boom in airport renovations designed to focus on airport customer experience, $6B of which has been financed by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law
  • Improving the parking experience by using data: to right-size parking shuttle service during peak hours, to enable parking space reservations, and to utilize sensor data to identify available spaces

TransLoc’s solutions are another technology that can help travelers and your staff get to where they need to go, whether that’s moving around your airport, to off-site parking, or to municipal transit. Our mobile app makes it easy to find fixed route transportation or to book and confirm a ride on demand. We offer complete solutions including automated passenger counters, real-time vehicle tracking and signage. Talk to our team today to learn how we can help optimize transportation at your airport.