The Smart Airport Market is projected to grow to about USD 14 billion by 2026, with a CAGR of 5.2% during the forecast period (2021 - 2026).
COVID-19 had a positive impact on the market as the investments towards integration of advanced technologies such as self-service check-in kiosks, biometric kiosks, and touchless solutions, among others, have increased compared to the previous year. Furthermore, due to the decrease in passenger traffic at the airports, the airports could easily integrate and implement the new advanced technologies.
The recovery in the passenger traffic in the coming years, the implementation of advanced technologies like IT, electronics and control systems, robotics, data analytics, etc., in the airport for efficient management of the airport at a reduced cost, as well as the need to enhance the passenger experience in the airports, is expected to accelerate the growth of the smart airport market during the forecast period.
The increasing investments into construction of new greenfield airports as well as expansion of existing airports around the world to cater to the growing passenger traffic is expected to majorly drive the growth of smart airports market in the coming years.
The introduction of new technology, like smart glass for blind passengers, and the introduction of biometrics for passengers, in general, may lead to enhanced customer experience in the future.
Key Market Trends
Passenger, Cargo and Baggage, and Ground Handling Segment Dominated the Market in 2020
The passenger, cargo and baggage, and ground handling segment currently has the highest market share and is expected to continue its dominance during the forecast period. The rapid growth of the passenger traffic has increased the pressure on the airport operators to augment their passenger handling capacity and integrate digital solutions to regulate passenger flow, cargo and baggage handling capabilities at the airports. For instance, in September 2020, the Bangalore International Airport (BIAL), in collaboration with Xovis, installed Queue Management System (including Xovis PTS and Xovis 3D sensors) at the Kempegowda International Airport in Bengaluru, which is expected to reduce waiting times, enhance operational efficiency and better manage passenger flow during peak hours. Similarly, the airports are also installing automated baggage handling systems to ease the pressure on airport ground support personnel and are helping the airport, airlines, and ground handlers to achieve passenger satisfaction. The majority of the airports in Europe and Asia have already installed the automated baggage handling systems. Also, in January 2019, PCL Construction in a joint venture with BEUMER Group signed a master agreement with the Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA) for Toronto Pearson International Airport’s Baggage 2025 initiative to upgrade the baggage handling operations at the airport with a fully automated system. Under the master service agreement, BEUMER Group will install CrisBag, an automated tote-based baggage transport and sortation system. The planned investments of passenger and baggage handling systems are expected to propel the growth of this segment in the coming years.
Asia-Pacific Region is Expected to Witness the Highest Growth During the Forecast Period
The Asia-Pacific region will experience significant growth due to robust investments towards the construction of new airports and the expansion of existing airports. Over the past few years, there has been a rapid increase in passenger traffic handled by airports in countries like China, India, Japan, and South Korea among others. Due to this, the government and airport authorities in the region have announced significant investments into the construction and expansion of airports. For instance, in 2019, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, and Transport of South Korea announced its plan to invest approximately USD 4.2 billion over a period of five years to expand the airport’s passenger handling capacity to 106 million passengers by 2024. Under the expansion plan, Incheon International Airport Corp., the operator of Incheon International Airport will construct a fourth runway and expand the second passenger terminal and other facilities at the airport. Furthermore, to efficiently operate the airports and provide uninterrupted services to the passengers, the airports in the region have also integrated smart airport solutions. In this regard, in February 2021, Changi Airport Group selected Genetec, Inc. to upgrade and enhance their security systems. Under the contract, the company will install Genetec Security Center, an integrated security platform that blends IP security systems in a single intuitive interface, with a specific focus on the video surveillance system across its terminals. The contract is expected to be completed by end of 2023. Such modernization of airport infrastructure with smart airport solutions is expected to accelerate the growth of the market in this region during the forecast period.
The market of smart airports is highly fragmented with many players in the market that provide advanced smart technology solutions. Some of the major players in the smart airport market are Raytheon Technologies Corporation, SITA, Honeywell International Inc., Siemens AG, and Cisco Systems Inc. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the companies have partnered with various airlines, governments, and airport authorities around the world to provide advanced technology solutions. For instance, in November 2020, Lufthansa Group announced that the airline began the use of Star Alliance Biometrics for selected flights at Frankfurt and Munich airports. The Star Alliance Biometrics developed an interoperable biometric identity and identification platform based on NEC Corporation’s NEC I: Delight biometric and identity management platform software. In addition to this, the companies have also invested in the development of advanced products to increase their share in the market. The development of such products that promote contactless processing of the airports is expected to help the companies increase their geographic presence in the coming years.
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