Airport Parking and Hotels (APH), a company managing airport car parks across the UK as well as hotel and other retail services, has produced concept art revealing how travel may look in the year 2040. The renderings offer different views of a futuristic airport, and some of the technology that might be available at the time.
Staff check-in desks will be phased out, replaced with online check-in or self-service desks, and passengers could be issued with biometric tokens that act as their passport, boarding pass and ID during their journey. Rather than being a physical object, the token will actually be digital, stored on the owner’s smartphone.
Biometric technology, which recognize facial features, fingerprints and iris patterns, might be used at various stages, while physical checks for contraband are expected to be replaced by laser molecular body scanners. From meters away and as passengers walk past, these devices will identify banned materials or liquids.
Bag drop and collection could change too, with drop-off points connected to high-speed conveyor belts all over the airport, from car parks to coffee shops.
Chips embedded in the cases or on attached tags allow the owners to track their luggage via their smartphones, and also be alerted when it is ready for collection.
Waiting for a flight will be different too, with touchscreen shopping, and outdoor features such as waterfalls and woodland. Virtual assistants will be on-hand to give directions or flight information, speaking in a variety of languages.
Beverley Barden, head of marketing at APH, said, “Airports are all too often a trying experience and one of the worst aspects of jetting off on holiday. What the future of airports project shows is that, in a few years, technological advances will enable airports to create a much more pleasant experience and work around the issues that they currently face.
“Through this research and the models we have created, we are able to predict what the airport experience could realistically be like in the near future, and it’s going to be very exciting to see it take shape.”