Take Offs & Land­ings

Not your fa­ther’s air­port. Rapidly evolv­ing tech­nol­ogy is chang­ing the face of travel, and the fo­cus in on you

Business Traveler (USA) - - INSIDE - By Dan Booth

Where Do We Fly from Here? – A fu­ture look at au­to­mated air­ports. More world mega­ports are on the draw­ing boards and light rail comes to DFW. Plus In­cheon shop­ping guide.

The year is 2030.You and your business col­leagues pull up to De­part­ing Flights, hav­ing spent the past half hour com­par­ing notes pre­par­ing for your up­com­ing trip, while your driver­less car pi­lots its way through city traf­fic to the air­port. The car gen­tly glides to a slow mov­ing side­walks on ei­ther side of the wel­come lanes.

You and your com­pan­ions safely exit the ve­hi­cle and have am­ple time to re­trieve your lug­gage from the trunk; your car and all those around you never ac­tu­ally stop mov­ing, so there are no traf­fic jams. At the end of the peo­ple mover, the car glides away down a ramp and speeds off au­to­mat­i­cally to park it­self, and you step off the peo­ple mover to en­ter the ter­mi­nal build­ing.

You wheel your lug­gage into the ter­mi­nal and are con­fronted with – no lines, no desks, no ob­vi­ous se­cu­rity check­points, none of the fa­mil­iar ac­cou­trements of air­ports just a few short years ago.

Your smart­watch beeps with a in­for­ma­tion has been matched to your pre-booked ticket.Your air­line’s business lounge is on the sec­ond level past se­cu­rity. Your gate num­ber is B16, and your flight is de­part­ing at 1820 hours, 40 min­utes late due to storms ear­lier in the day in Chicago.

This is but the first of sev­eral such iden­ti­fi­ca­tion checks you’ll un­dergo be­tween here and your des­ti­na­tion.

At the door, you place your rollerbag on a con­veyor and stand on the mov­ing walk be­side it for a few feet while it – and you – are scanned again.Your bio­met­rics have been matched to the Univer­sal Cargo Iden­ti­fi­ca­tion chip that’s em­bed­ded in your lug­gage – and in ev­ery other piece of cargo in the en­tire avi­a­tion sys­tem. The chip is unique to you and your bag, and now it’s been au­to­mat­i­cally linked to your ticket and this trip.

Above your bag the small dis­play spells out your des­ti­na­tion; if the dis­play doesn’t match the city where you’re headed, this is your last chance to re­trieve your lug­gage. How­ever the des­ti­na­tion is cor­rect, so you let the bag dis­ap­pear into the sys­tem, rea­son­ably con­fi­dent it will ar­rive at your city of choice.

You could stop and shop at any of the land­side re­tail out­lets in the air­port wel­come lobby. Sev­eral of the spe­cial of­fers that are ping­ing your watch and smart­phone look par­tic­u­larly ap­peal­ing; after all, they’re based on your per­sonal pro­file and past shop­ping habits.

But the lounge is beck­on­ing, so you don’t want to stop to browse. In­stead you take out your tablet and with a few of taps or­der a cou­ple of in­ter­est­ing-look­ing items you’ve had your eye on – a pair of noise­can­cel­ing ear­buds to re­place your too-big­for-carry-on head­set, and a bot­tle of wine you’ve been mean­ing to try. Th­ese will be de­liv­ered di­rectly to the lounge by the air­port’s concierge cart.

Now it’s time to go through se­cu­rity.You walk down one of sev­eral softly lighted tun­nels – and you’re done.Your en­tire se­cu­rity scan was done au­to­mat­i­cally with­out the out­dated prac­tice of re­mov­ing cloth­ing, shoes, liq­uids or elec­tronic de­vices. The en­tire process is walk-through, once again us­ing bio­met­rics and lo­ca­tio­nen­abled per­sonal de­vices to as­sure you are who you say you are, and are not car­ry­ing any­thing that poses a se­cu­rity risk.

Upon ar­rival at the lounge, you are greeted by name (lounge per­son­nel al­ready know who you are and what your fre­quent flier sta­tus is and even your bev­er­age

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.