The European smart airport market is projected to record a CAGR of more than 4.5% during the forecast period.
- The European region has been witnessing gradual growth in the air passenger traffic due to various factors. In order to cater to the increasing passenger traffic, airport operators in this region have been investing in the modernization of airports. The modernization includes the integration of new technologies for enhancing operational efficiencies as well as increasing their passenger handling capacities. Such investments are anticipated to generate demand for smart airport solutions in the coming years.
- Technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT), and predictive analysis are being integrated into airports for a wide range of applications to increase automation and revolutionize the process flow architecture in airports. The integration of advanced technology solutions in the airports is expected to bolster the growth the of smart airports market in Europe during the forecast period.
Key Market Trends
Air/Ground Traffic Control Segment is Expected to Witness Significant Growth in the Coming Years
The regulatory authorities like the European Commission are working with air traffic control (ATC) associations in the region and are investing in the development of air traffic management infrastructure. This is mainly due to increasing flight activity with no subsequent development in the infrastructure of the ATCs, which is leading to air traffic control delays and flight cancellations. According to Eurocontrol, due to issues in ATCs, there was a 50% increase in delayed flights in 2018. To eliminate such problems, various air navigation service providers (ANSPs) are investing in new technologies to efficiently manage traffic; and introduce free route airspace that will allow the aircraft to fly the most optimal, carbon-efficient routes. In December 2019, members of SESAR Deployment Alliance and Eurocontrol Network Manager formed a new partnership to manage the modernization and digitization of the European Air Traffic Management (ATM) system. The increasing encouragement to deploy new technologies like AI and machine learning, automation, and digitization to increase overall performance is anticipated to bolster the growth of the segment during the forecast period.
United Kingdom Accounted for a Major Market Share in 2019
As of December 2019, the United Kingdom held the highest share in the Europe smart airport market and is expected to continue its dominance during the forecast period. In 2018, the air traffic in the country grew by 2.7% to account for 292 million passengers. Since aviation is a crucial element to the country’s GDP, the focus is being divested toward efficient utilization of existing capacity and strategic investment toward improving airport services. In early 2018, the UK government invested around USD 2.11 million into the development of artificial intelligence (AI) to strengthen security and reduce wait times at some of the country’s busiest airports. Similarly, various airport authorities, airlines, and service providers are investing in the integration of new technologies to boost passenger traffic by reducing delays, noise, and emissions, and simplifying the airport operations. For instance, NATS, the air navigation service provider (ANSP) is currently evaluating the use of Aimee, an artificial intelligence and machine learning platform developed by Searidge, to significantly reduce delays caused by low visibility conditions during the aircraft landings into Heathrow International Airport. This evaluation is a part of NATS’ USD 3 million investment into a digital tower laboratory, which was started with a goal to integrate advanced technology solutions to support the air traffic operations in the future. Such initiatives by government as well as airport operators are expected to propel the growth of the UK smart airport market in the coming years.
Some of the prominent players in the Europe smart airport market are SITA, Siemens AG, Amadeus IT Group, Leonardo SpA, and Indra Sistemas SA. The European smart airports market is highly competitive with many technology providers supporting various stakeholders in the market. The technology providers are integrating advanced technologies like AI, machine learning, and robotics and are partnering with airport operators, airlines, and airport service providers to improve passenger handling and the efficiency of the operations. For instance, in December 2019, British Airways announced its plan to begin the trail with fully autonomous robots at Terminal 5 of Heathrow Airport. These fully-automated robots are provided by BotsAndUs company, which are integrated with geo-location technology and advanced sensors to navigate and clarify the queries of the passenger in multiple languages. In addition, the development and introduction of new smart airport solutions by the manufacturers are anticipated to support the growth prospects of the companies in the future.
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