Ex­pe­ri­ence a smooth flight with­out all the bag­gage

The Sunday Mail (Queensland) - - NEWS - MICHAELMI WRAY

FU FU­TURE air trav­ellers will nav­i­gate a se self-ser­vice net­work of bag­gage ro­bots bots, au­ton­o­mous ve­hi­cles and in­vis­i­ble bio­met­ric checks on their jour­ney from kerb­side to air­side.

And the all-pur­pose ter­mi­nal com­mon to­day will be split in two, cre­at­ing a ground trans­port in­ter­change where pas­sen­gers off­load lug­gage be­fore high-fre­quency au­ton­o­mous ve­hi­cles drop them at a ter­mi­nal ringed by planes.

The Sun­day Mail can re­veal con­cepts cre­ated for lead­ing global air­ports by Aus­tralian-based air­port con­sul­tancy Air­biz. The ideas are at the cut­ting edge of fu­ture air­port de­sign and of­fer some rad­i­cal so­lu­tions to im­prove ef­fi­ciency, cut costs and aid cus­tomer com­fort.

Air­biz man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Greg Ford­ham said the most dra­matic idea was to sep­a­rate the ground in­ter­change area from the ter­mi­nal.

“As you ap­proach the air­port there’s a drive-through bag drop where you de­posit your bag, or you could de­posit your bag in a bag­gage ro­bot that will take your bag away and deal with it,” he said. “What we’re do­ing is dis­pers­ing the check­ing in of bag­gage, avoid­ing the con­gre­ga­tion of peo­ple from a se­cu­rity point of view and pro­vid­ing a bet­ter level of ser­vice for the pas­sen­ger.”

Hav­ing dropped their bags, pas­sen­gers would catch a shut­tle to the ter­mi­nal where they could shop and dine un­til alerted on their phone to go to the gate.

Mr Ford­ham said ad­vances in bio­met­ric tech­nol­ogy would elim­i­nate many “hu­man touch points” that cur­rently slow pas­sen­gers down.

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