Passenger Terminal Expo, which took place on March 20-22, 2018, in Stockholm, Sweden, welcomed more than 7300 visitors, 1402 delegates and hosted 385 speakers, with talks ranging from airport design, security and management to customer service. Additionally, Skytrax World Airport Awards ceremony took place during the event, recognizing the best airports in the world. Singapore Changi Airport received the award for the world’s best airport for a second year in a row.

Passenger Terminal Expo had 300 exhibitors showcasing their best products and services, with game-changing technologies in biometrics, baggage handling, self-driving vehicles, AI robotics and others.

Biometrics at the center of increasing security and efficiency

Exhibitors included Rockwell Collins which launched latest version of its self-service common-use bag-drop solution, the ARINC SelfDrop F series. The product utilizes biometric technologies which enable passengers to check in luggage in less than one minute.

SIGA, specializing in transport IT, exhibited their biometric security platform Smart Path and talked about the company’s recent report Biometrics for Better Travel: An ID Management Revolution. The report claims that 63% of airports and 43% of airlines plan to invest in biometric technology in the next three years.

Photo-Me, the newcomer for Passenger Terminal Expo, demonstrated their biometric facial scanning technology which utilizes 3D cameras for seamless boarding process. The Photo-Me camera can process the passenger’s facial details at a walking pace, with no need for the traveler to stop in front of the camera. While some biometric gates take a while to identify a passenger, especially if they are moving or standing too close to the camera, this technology can process information regardless of the customer’s position.

Increasing passenger numbers drive tech companies to innovate

Aside from biometric technology, focused on improving security and efficiency of airport performance, other tech companies exhibiting at the event showcased their products.

Vanderlande’s FLEET automated baggage logistics solution set to launch in September 2018 utilizes autonomous vehicle technology, where each bag is carried by an individual vehicle, determining the most optimal route. According to the company, FLEET consumes 50% less energy than traditional baggage handling systems. During the Passenger Terminal Expo, Vanderlande signed with Rotterdam The Hague Airport for the first live deployment of the system.

Beumer Group presented its Reclaim on Demand system which functions similarly to self-service bag drop of. The platform enables passengers to get their luggage from an automated reclaim system in the same way that the self-service bag drop automates the check-in process.

Another autonomous vehicle company Navya, displayed one of its shuttle buses with a capacity of 15 people. The vehicle powered by a fully electric motor which can reach the speed of 50 km/h is also equipped with navigation technology including stereo vision, GPS and infrared sensors.

ADP Ingénierie presented their Virtual Reality technology, which can provide training and baggage-handling upgrades by letting users put themselves in a Paris-Orly air-traffic controller’s shoes or navigate baggage-handling system.

Flight Solutions unveiled its its eScan Passenger Verification System which will debut in eight Scottish airports in time for the busy summer season. The technology will provide real-time passenger data to the airports, enabling them to measure passenger flow and queue times.

When it came to customer service, Swedish startup Furhat Robotics set themselves apart with their display of FRAnny - multilingual customer service bot. FRAnny  is currently being trialled at Frankfurt Airport and is created to handle routine passenger queries. For now, the bot will initially converse in English and German, however the project is set to expand to at least 35 languages in the upcoming years.

Other companies exhibiting at the event included Huawei, which showcased its capacity capabilities – being able to support up to 400GB per second capacity throughput and store up to 50PB - and IDEMIA, which also presented its biometric solutions to airports.

The Passenger Terminal Expo broke records this year – the event attracted more visitors and delegates than ever before. “Every record has been broken; 1402 delegates is a new delegate record and we have 385 speakers, more than in any other year. We have 300 exhibitors, another record, and more exhibit space than ever before,” Tony Robinson, CEO of UKi Media & Events, told Passenger Terminal Today.