New challenges after COVID

Now that everything seems to be back to normal, the whole world is preparing to overcome the impact of Covid-19. 

In many countries, routine activities are already taking place as normal, without the need to wear masks. Others are enjoying festivals and concerts, but better yet, travel restrictions have been put aside to embrace the summer. 

Airports around the world are preparing to reach pre-pandemic traffic levels. However, they have faced unexpected challenges such as staff shortages and high passenger demand that have led to delays, cancellations and long queues. 

But this was not an impediment for people to enjoy their vacations after two years of confinement. 

Goodbye to controls… 

Thanks to the leveling of contagions and the good sanitary management in airport structures, countries such as Spain have announced the lifting of COVID controls, it will no longer be necessary to present the COVID passport or the traveler’s form, both at airports and those arriving in the country by cruise ships. 

However, requirements such as PCR tests performed 48 hours in advance and vaccination cards are still required. This is to ensure the safety and welfare of each passenger. Likewise, masks will still be used during flights.

In spite of this, the lifting of the controls is a great step to restructure international schedules and reopen the operation of routes that were still stopped. 

In addition, passengers are guaranteed safety and confidence during flights and stays at the air terminals.

This is why good times are ahead for the aeronautical and port sector. Where challenges will cease to have a negative connotation, to carry out new projects and improve the travel experience of each passenger. 

A reliable alternative… 

In order to accompany the challenges that may arise, GP Nauticals has developed within the SUITE, a specialized software called PAX AIMS, which is ideal to avoid long waiting lines.  In addition, it is capable of auditing the number of passengers passing through the airport facilities, in order to automate processes and optimize check-in and collection times. 

All this thanks to the checkpoints that will be deployed at the airports, which will improve the travel experience from the moment they set foot in the facilities. 

PAX AIMS can be integrated with other SUITE software according to the needs of each customer. If you want to know more information about our products, click here

Mobile applications in the aviation industry

In recent times, it’s evident how mobile applications related to air transport have multiplied, and have promoted major changes in the aviation industry. From the improvement of internal processes to cope with any kind of operational disruption, as happened during the pandemic, to those focused on customer satisfaction by transforming the way they travel.

We live in an interconnected world and there is a clear need to have as much information and services as possible on our mobile devices. Thanks to this, more and more airlines and airports are focusing their efforts on developing technology that allows them to be at the forefront of the needs while helping to reduce costs, optimize revenues, improve labor productivity, and above all innovate while making life easier for their passengers.

The use of this type of technology can also become a differentiating branding tool.  Now that many airlines are seeking to build customer loyalty through attractive benefits that play an important role in passengers’ decision to travel.

Now, let’s take a look at the latest technologies that have been used in the airline industry and are being tested around the world. 

For example, contactless self-check-in and baggage handling technology are being tested in many airports, as well as mobile applications that allow airlines to scan travelers’ passports and visas at different checkpoints, thus speeding up long waiting lines and reducing waiting times, which is a huge benefit for passengers.

On the other hand, airlines are looking for ways to integrate into their mobile applications options that allow passengers to manage their services without the need for a cabin crew member anywhere in the travel chain and especially without contact. So if a passenger wants to use the entertainment systems of the aircraft, he can do it just by scanning a QR code from his mobile device and thus choose what he wants to see while interacting with the crew to buy products or services such as food or duty-free items. 

These types of technology platforms not only serve to meet the needs of passengers, but also provide airlines and airports with the opportunity to understand passenger behavior and purchasing patterns. This allows companies to segment the market and personalize their offers.

Similarly, facial recognition technology continues to make inroads in the industry, and biometric identification options are expected to become common in the coming year, as their benefits are not only focused on passengers but also help to reduce costs, optimize resources, and speed up boarding times. 

Even now, facial recognition payment technologies and contactless fingerprint scanning are being tested. 

 Similarly, another area that is being impacted by mobile technology platforms is the administrative sector of the airline industry where they are beginning to implement port management systems that allow airports to manage data in real-time with cloud support. That helps the organizations involved to be more efficient in managing information, concessions, contracts, billing, and payment of services. 

Today there are many development companies specialized in the aviation industry that continually offer solutions that improve processes, encouraging a market that has been greatly affected in recent years by the pandemic of COVID-19 as is GP Nautical. who have focused their efforts on creating innovative technology platforms for the aviation sector that allows any port to have a management system of the last generation with minimal investment.

 

The use of biometrics in the aeronautical sector

The future is already here and thanks to the technological advances we are living today, we can use biometrics as a control and access system. Analyzing our facial features or body measurements that make each person a unique human being with specific characteristics.

But what does this process consist of? 

To identify a subject, all that is needed is to compare an incoming image with an image in the database. However, in the aeronautical field, this is a process that must be carried out in real-time and supported by software and a database that provides sufficient security to airport facilities.

 

For this reason, airports that have already implemented technologies like this support it with government databases that support their security personnel while streamlining their passenger check-in processes.

 

Using a passenger access control system with biometrics brings many advantages to the aviation industry, such as speeding up the entry process, making it faster and more efficient, and reducing the probability of identity fraud, since the system will identify the passenger’s features by comparing them with certified databases. 

 

Software without human manipulation, this type of technology and devices used to provide access cannot be manipulated, so the information handled here is secure and reliable. And last but not least hygiene, as the type of devices used for biometric identification or facial recognition, does not require any kind of contact, so it is ideal in these times of pandemic.

 

According to Annet Steenbergen, chair of the passenger facilitation working group at IATA, “The use of the human body as an authentication system will be the salvation to speed up the movement of people in air terminals”. Especially when it is expected that by 2037, more than 8 million passengers will be using airplanes for their transfers, more than twice as many as today.

 

Identification solutions using biometrics or facial recognition not only eliminate manual processes, offer a more satisfactory service for passengers, and reduce their waiting times at the airport but also help airlines and air terminals to comply with government and border agency regulations.

 

So far, the main use of facial recognition technology has been in the check-in areas of airports. However, within the same air terminals, it can also be used to provide privileged access to VIP lounges for frequent travelers, access to restricted areas for airport workers, or to offer specific premium services for those passengers who wish to pay for a more pleasant trip. 

 

At the moment, the implementation of facial recognition in the aviation industry is in its early stages, but we are sure that it will revolutionize the sector and replace many processes that are not so friendly so far.

 

Data processing in airport environments

All airport facilities handle a vast amount of data and countless variables that become a daily challenge for the management and optimization of resources, allowing them to continuously improve their services and find new market niches that would otherwise take years to discover.

 

The use of innovative technologies supported by big data has helped these huge facilities such as airports not only to understand passenger behavior. Also to compile and evaluate data in real-time that would otherwise take months or even years to obtain results or get a pattern.

 

This type of software is enriched by passenger information as well as data from flights, airlines, schedules, suppliers, and all those entities directly or indirectly involved in port functions. 

 

The analysis of these data allows us to determine which are the areas with the highest traffic and, from there, to make more resources available or redirect passenger traffic to other points of interest to get the most out of the facilities.

 

On the other hand, there is a large amount of information that must be processed in this type of facility, which is not explicit and is an essential part of airport management, such as billing, concessionaires, contracting, and suppliers.

 

With the automation and management of big data in this area, manual work is greatly facilitated, minimizing transcription errors and generating real-time reports that considerably shorten decision making, as well as reducing return times and increasing profits.

 

For this, it is important to think about implementing specialized tools that cover in detail each area of the port and also have support in the cloud, as well as a friendly platform that is easy to use for each user. In this way, there will be a simple technology transfer that employees and users in general, make the most of this software.

 

One of the companies that specialize in the development and implementation of this type of solution for the airport sector is the American company GP Nauticals. With its Suite of products AIMS, seeks to maximize the aviation industry by leveraging on technological tools easily accessible, with minimal investment amounts and that can pay off in a short term.

 

If you want to learn more about their software you can visit their website www.gpnauticals.com or contact a specialist.

 

Airport recovery in America

In the middle of the worldwide vacation season, the airport industry in Latin America is looking forward to the growth of airport traffic and the opening of new routes, after a turbulent few years. 

Airports in Central and Latin America such as El Dorado in Colombia, Tocumen Airport in Panama, and airports in Mexico (Cancun, Tijuana, and Los Cabos) are participating in a recovery that increases rapidly during the summer season. 

In addition, airports such as Bariloche Airport in Argentina are also recovering concerning 2019, with rates that exceed the pre-pandemic period. 

The recovery has been 85% in relation to 2019, this is undoubtedly the right time to be able to recover one hundred percent of airport operations, especially during the holiday season. 

As we mentioned in our previous article, the high traffic demand at airports worldwide has generated some chaos, cancellations, lost luggage, long queues, and delays. 

 

And now the big question is, are airports in America prepared in terms of infrastructure?

With the increase in flights and traffic, the facilities are becoming small and outdated. Two years ago, the deterioration of the infrastructure was already visible, so it became a new challenge to improve and update the functionality of airports. 

Some airports, such as Bariloche and El Dorado, are already showing updates in their infrastructure and technological development. Others are already operating to make the necessary improvements. 

That is why, to face the new challenges GP Nauticals presents high-quality technological solutions, which provide specific results in real-time, to make financial and operational decisions optimally. 

This software can be integrated to offer optimal service and manage in the best way the administrative development of an airport, concessions, and airlines. 

Software such as PAX AIMS is ideal for the development and control of passenger traffic through any port facility, using checkpoints to validate the number of passengers entering the airport and generate accurate billing. 

It can also be integrated with other AIMS SUITE products such as AERO AIMS and PAY AIMS, to improve the billing and collection process, through data management and easy-to-use applications. 

 

If you want to know more about our products click HERE

 

​​New opportunities for the aeronautical sector

The Covid-19 pandemic caused the worst crisis ever known for the aviation sector. With government restrictions forcing many airlines and airports to reduce many of their staff and cancel thousands of daily flights, which has negatively impacted not only the quality of service provided to passengers but even the image of one of the most important industries for the global economy.

 

Now, we could say that we are in a post-pandemic era and airport activity has been recovering almost to the level of two years ago. We are plunged into a chaos of flight cancellations, long lines, and delays, and now the most important airports have many limitations in takeoffs and landings due to a lack of qualified personnel and high traffic volumes.

 

This personnel crisis particularly affects passenger control of aircraft handling, including flight attendants and at this point, we could ask ourselves, if the sector has already recovered, what are they waiting for to hire more staff? Well, the answer is more than simple, first of all, airlines and airports are not offering very attractive conditions, and secondly, hiring security-related personnel requires a very specific profile, and preparing them for these vacancies can even take more than 6 months.

 

So how can the current crisis in the aviation industry be alleviated? 

 

Many of these cases could be significantly improved with a restructuring of their resources. Still, the reactivation practically all at once did not allow many to prepare in advance and foresee this situation.

 

However, the implementation of innovative technologies that allow them to perform specific actions and at the same time provide them with the necessary security required by this sector could be essential and we must evaluate whether it is really necessary to hire more staff or whether to invest in technologies that support these more specific areas and help reduce the time of this specialized personnel. 

 

For these areas, software such as Pax AIMS is available, which allows airlines and airports to keep track and control passengers at any port facility, deploying fixed or mobile checkpoints and all by scanning boarding passes, which helps to validate passenger lists. 

 

Additionally, this software can be integrated with Pay AIMS which is responsible for collecting this data to initiate the debt collection process. In this way, concessionaires can optimize their resources and use them where support is most needed while ground personnel have tools to facilitate their daily tasks.

 

How is the security at airports?

Airports are one of the most regulated places in terms of security systems, but how do they manage to control the high amount of luggage and hundreds of travelers at the same time? In this article we will review how the different types of airport screening work and some of their most common practices to make their facilities a safe place for their customers and workers.

 

Concerning passengers, the first checkpoint they must go through is the one before entering the restricted area where they must check their boarding pass. Either employing a scanner that reads the code printed on their boarding pass or directly on their cell phone. It is expected that soon this control will be carried out using biometrics with facial recognition systems, as is already being done in many airports as a test. 

 

After entering the restricted area, passengers must go through a second checkpoint, where their hand luggage will be checked by a second scanner. At this point, the objective is to check that no passenger or employee can access the terminals with prohibited or potentially dangerous objects. For them, passengers must introduce their hand luggage, shoes, and other belongings, and using X-rays will be able to detect any restricted object.

 

This type of scanner at this checkpoint manages to greatly streamline the transit and entry to the facilities since this control should be done manually and individualized. 

 

But what about checked baggage? While passengers enter the terminal, the bags they have previously checked-in are also subjected to several security controls. Once they are received by the airline, the bags pass through the “cheeks yard”, which is nothing more than conveyor belts that take the luggage through 5 different types of control and allow them to avoid dangerous situations such as explosions or fires.

 

Once they have entered the terminal, the controls do not stop, passengers must pass through one or another checkpoint where their data is verified, especially before entering the aircraft. For this reason, airport security personnel play a fundamental role in risk detection and are a key part of the whole security system in the airport. They require very specific training and constant renewal, especially because this area is constantly renewing its technologies and, today they can rely on multiple devices for early detection of risks. 

 

For this reason, GP Nauticals has developed a software called Pax AIMS that allows airports to keep track, control, and audit all passengers entering the airport facilities, deploying fixed or mobile checkpoints and allowing concessionaires to validate boarding lists.

 

If you are interested in learning more about the company or any of its AIMS Suite products, you can visit its website https://gpnauticals.com/ or contact any of its consultants.

 

Technology and Big Data improve the experience at airports around the world

These are times of great changes and with them, we have to adapt and do things differently. However, I would dare to say that the airport sector has rethought from many angles the way it had been operating and providing its services. Now we can find “super modern” airports where the priority is to provide a positive travel experience by making passenger traffic more efficient, but how did they achieve this?

The development of specific technology for the industry, and big data have been a fundamental key to having more efficient airport management. Since the analysis of this data allows them to predict and measure the movement of passengers, determine schedules, routes, and travelers’ crowds to manage resources more optimally.

Airport technology trends aimed at improving the experience and satisfaction of travelers are leveraged on mobile devices supported by the cloud, which allows modernizing the operational and logistical environment of airport facilities.

A good example of this type of technology is Seeking, implemented in Barajas T4 and El Prat T1. Which allows the airport to know how passengers move around its facilities, even if they visit the Duty-Free and VIP lounges if they connect to the airport WI-FI and even send relevant information. In this way, they provide an anonymous digital identity and track each of their actions, being able to analyze the behavior of their passengers and detect new business niches.

The operational evolution of airports with the analysis of this data in real-time allows greater planning in terms of infrastructure management, which translates into greater convenience for the traveler. 

If a flight arrives at the airport and has a later connection, it could be more easily planned to provide a nearby gate to avoid travelers from transit long distances. Thus shortening the waiting time of the plane on the ground optimizing the service and providing a better user experience and this can only be achieved with data collection and analysis.

Currently and as mentioned above, much-specialized software is being developed for the aviation industry, as is the case of GP Nauticals Suite, which focuses mainly on optimizing airport management and facilitating the collection and analysis of information in each of its areas and with minimal investment. 

If you want to learn more about GP Nauticals and see all the products available, you can do so by visiting their website or contacting a specialist in the area.

A new moment for America

Facing the new times has undoubtedly been a great challenge for the aviation sector. Worldwide, recovery is expected to be imminent this year. 

So far this year, restrictions have been lifted, sanitary processes remain, but freedom to travel is becoming more common. People are gradually returning to “normal” life, and airports are looking for new strategies to attract traffic in the sector. 

The recovery has been somewhat delayed due to conflicts in Europe, recent variants of the virus in China, and inflationary pressure. This has led to further restrictions in Europe and Asia. 

North America takes off

The new horizons are clear for the American continent, as air traffic increases exponentially, and it is estimated that, in the case of North America, it will be the region with the greatest recovery worldwide, with 97.79% of demand compared to 2019, according to Bain & Company. 

Like the United States, Mexico is the other country that will see early aeronautical recovery. This is because domestic and international flight operations were maintained and did not restrict air traffic. 

This allowed the impact on tourism to take off considerably after one season. It is estimated that other countries in recovery are Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru. 

In the rest of the world, according to Bain & Company statistics, it is estimated that pre pandemic traffic figures will be seen again by the second quarter of 2025. In 2022 it is expected that “the recovery will be 65% and 73% of traffic at pre-pandemic levels”.

New technologies 

Despite the long wait, airports worldwide are committed to improving and embracing new technologies. For the aeronautical sector, finding new ways to adapt has been fundamental in its recovery. 

Part of this is the automation of administrative processes to improve the user and customer experience. This is where GP Nauticals, joins the automation of processes with a SUITE of products dedicated to the aeronautical and maritime sector. 

PAX AIMS is one of our main products which will allow you to audit the number of passengers that circulate in an airport. Cumbersome processes are avoided and waiting times are optimized. This product can be easily integrated with other AIMS SUITE products.

 

If you want to know more, please visit the products section

 

High-tech airport checkpoints

The Transportation Security Administration, better known as TSA, has focused its efforts in recent decades on the implementation of new technological tools.

That allows airports to have safer and more efficient passenger checkpoints, incorporating innovations such as: digital identification, facial recognition, and even computerized tomography.

For this reason, in today’s article, we will inform you about the latest innovations in airport checkpoint systems that have been introduced in the sector.

Computerized tomography for baggage scanning

These machines were created for medical purposes. They are now being used in the airport industry as a security device.

Providing rotating, color-coded, and three-dimensional images of all baggage entering the facilities.

All are supported by new computer programs with automatic learning that allow checkpoints to study the contents of a suitcase more quickly and accurately.

High Definition Body Scanning

High-definition imaging technology (HD-AIT) systems are currently under development to enhance existing body scanning devices.

Which would allow for a detailed view of each passenger without them having to hold their arms above their head, remove their shoes or coats.

These devices are designed to detect a greater number of prohibited items, thus reducing inspections and making passenger scanning more efficient.

Facial recognition technology

Facial recognition technology is currently tested at several international airports, to verify the identity of passengers passing through their facilities.

New stations known as “Innovation Checkpoint” will be installed at airports for the use of this type of technology. Where identification software compares a photo taken at the checkpoint with the identification presented by the passenger.

Checkpoints

Manual passenger verification is a thing of the past. Passenger check-in and boarding list audits are being handled by software. That allows real-time measurement of passenger traffic, whether in the immigration area or for control in the boarding area.

This type of technology allows for the early completion of passenger lists, verification of flight occupancy, and even calculation and verification of airport taxes.

They don’t require major investment by airports since they can be integrated with the systems currently used, such as the software known as PAX AIMS, developed by the company GP Nauticals.