Why AIrport and airlines are investing in AI and chatbots and many more technologies

By arvind |Email | Aug 16, 2018 | 12981 Views

While every industry in today's world has a question mark against the AI, no one is shying away from the fact of investing in the programmes and R&D of AI for the use in their industry. According to a study around 80% of the airlines are planning to invest billions on R&D for prediction and warning systems, which rely heavily on AI and other programs. Everything is going to change at airports in the coming years, security, baggage, and boarding. Yeah baggage hopefully your baggage will now will reach you more often than it is now.  

The reason airports and airline are looking to AI is to improve the response during the disruptions, improving performance and customer services, according to a report published, flight disruption to the airports and airlines costs almost $25 billion US  dollars mostly because of weather, so the situation for them was whether to invest in AI or not. Quite a lot to think there when it comes to think if they should invest in AI programmes or in R&D of AI because it is only costing them what like a mere $25 billion dollars.

Another technology this industry is investing is chatbots; with 14% of airlines and 9% of airports now use these computer programs, including KLM, British Airways and Avianca. There's a huge appetite among air transport CIOs to embrace chatbots over the next three years. By 2020, 68% of airlines and 42% of airports plan to adopt AI-driven chatbot services, according to a report

Artificial intelligence

Almost every industry will experience the impact of artificial intelligence (AI) over the course of the next 12 months, and air transport will be no exception. Perhaps the most obvious example to date of AI in action in this industry is chatbots; automated digital tools that can converse with customers and answer their questions in a real-time, human-like manner. Voice-based AI tools (such as the Amazon Echo device) also continue to gain traction how voice-activated personal digital assistants can help to create a more seamless travel experience.
From personalised online interactions and marketing intelligence to revenue management and ticket pricing, a multitude of areas will be affected by AI. In fact, the most forward-thinking airlines are already investing in the technology. In the Middle East, Emirates and Etihad have made significant outlays. Airlines, as well as airports and their partners, must now work out how to make best use of this transformative technology.


Emerging hand-in-hand with the rise of artificial intelligence is robotics. Robotics has already been implemented for tasks such as baggage handling and car parking, but last year it emerged as a useful customer-facing technology in airport terminals. A total of 17 robots have already been chosen to participate in trials across three categories: cleaning, transportation and information. Elsewhere in the air transport industry, major players such as Emirates, JetBlue and Changi Airport have name checked robotics as a technology of interest as part of wider technology investments. 


The launch of the first biometric-enabled single passenger token trial back in 2015 was a defining moment for biometrics in the air transport industry, as the stakeholders involved in the "Happy Flow" project set out to prove that biometrics hold the key to a more seamless and secure air travel process. Since then, myriad suppliers have unveiled their own biometric-enabled single token platforms, while airports and airlines have warmed to the idea that biometrics could revolutionise the way passengers are processed. Use of biometrics to expedite and secure processing at each of the key passenger touches points. Facial recognition technology has been the biometric of choice in many trials to date but other forms, including vascular technology and even embedded chips, have been touted as feasible alternatives for the future.

Wearable technology 

Wearable technology may have got off to a shaky start, but the air transport industry would be to dismiss it as irrelevant. While passenger-facing trials of smartglasses and smartwatches have so far failed to inspire permanent implementations, the potential of wearables as enterprise devices is becoming clearer. The first generation Google Glass may not have lived up to expectations, but Microsoft's HoloLens has been well received, including by some pioneering air transport industry players. Highlighting other potential use cases, Microsoft has also previously demonstrated how HoloLens can be used when designing new airport terminals, providing designers with immersive images of new terminals before construction work even begins.

Virtual reality and augmented reality

While consumer-facing virtual and augmented reality technologies are still seen by some as a fad, or simply technologies looking for use cases in the air transport industry, the list of airlines that have expressed an interest continues to grow. In November 2016 the carrier launched a new virtual reality app to provide travellers with immersive videos of Australian destinations. Jonathan Vaden( who led the project on the airport's behalf) said,"Once augmented reality technology becomes ubiquitous. we will see many new and creative ways in which airports around the world begin taking advantage of its capabilities,".

Internet of Things

The Internet of Things (IoT) has been on the radar of airlines and airports for some time already, but the actual creation of a fully connected ecosystem both on the ground and in-flight is an ongoing task. In airports, evidence of the Internet of Things in action is relatively easy to spot. For instance, queue measuring sensors and BLE beacons are enabling airports and their partners to better manage resources and provide passengers with destination-specific messages. Increasingly, assets within the airport are becoming trackable as more and more "things" become connected to help drive operational efficiency.

Source: HOB