Changi and Beijing Daxing Airport trade know-hows on airport innovation

May 2022

By Grace Cheung

 

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Uplifting the standard of global aviation has never been more urgent, given the curveballs that the travel industry has faced since the pandemic started. To provide a smoother and more convenient travel journey for passengers, airports are adopting innovative technologies to reduce the friction of travel. One way to accelerate this process is through knowledge exchange.

Earlier this year, Changi Airport Group (CAG) shared its know-hows on smart technology application with our counterparts from Beijing Daxing Airport.  The session, focused on “Passenger Services Flow Design & Smart Technology”, was fronted by Chua Ching Hock, Associate General Manager, Airport Management, and Victor Liu, Associate General Manager, Airport Operations. 

Beijing Daxing Airport is home to one of largest terminal buildings in the world (Photo credit: Sohu.com)

In addition to sharing the importance of human-centric designs and artificial intelligence application, CAG shared its perspective on the effective outsourcing of ground handling services, maintenance services, and service quality management to ensure optimal service standards while harnessing technology. Terminal 4, being one of the first terminals in the world to implement FAST (fast and seamless travel) technology on a large scale to provide greater convenience to passengers, was used as a case study.

Changi Airport’s Terminal 4 was among the first in the world to offer self-service check-in and bag drop technologies

“The participants wanted to know whether FAST adoption at Changi was affected by the numerous new document checks levied by border control agencies and airlines due to Covid-19, which they faced in Beijing Daxing,” Ching Hock said. “We have the same concern at Changi, and given the manpower crunch situation in Singapore, reviving FAST adoption remains a critical strategy.”

Both airports exchanged notes on possible ground measures to overcome this challenge. For instance, introducing a podium counter and having ground handling agents  do advance manual checks of these documents, before allowing passengers to enter the FAST zone for self-check-in and bag-drops. Another way was to explore the use of technology and engage aviation system partners to digitalise these document checks.

Besides the adoption of FAST, CAG also shared its deployment of touchless solutions using infrared proximity sensors across airport terminals in the early days of Covid-19. This was done swiftly to minimise surface contact and reduce the risk of virus transmission.

Innovative solutions such as infrared proximity sensors help to reduce surface contact and virus transmission

Facilitating check-in off airport

Besides technology, the concept of an off-airport check-in, allowing passengers to conveniently check-in “anytime, anywhere”, was also discussed. Both airports were keen to explore trials on this while considering factors such technology hurdles and commercial viability.

“Daxing is a very advanced airport, both in terms of technological capability, as well as in their airport design and customer service. It was heartening to hear how a fellow airport operator has rallied its partners, stakeholders, and frontline staff to emerge through Covid-19, while continuing to innovate,” Ching Hock said.

Apart from gaining know-hows, stronger partnerships were built between Changi and Daxing Airport, which will lead to faster and easier collaboration moving forward. Other topics covered in the online programme included managing the non-aeronautical business and landscaping design.

“Many of Changi’s Chinese carriers fly to Daxing Airport,” Ching Hock said. “We now have a better understanding of their challenges and opportunities. These valuable learning points and insights will greatly help in our engagement with them.”

 

Close to 50 airport professionals from Beijing Daxing Airport attended the training programme curated by Changi Airports International

CAI is a wholly owned subsidiary of Changi Airport Group. As a leading airport investor, manager and consultant in the global aviation market, CAI has extensive experience in over 20 countries and more than 60 airports. CAI has been active in China for more than 20 years, providing consultancy services for over 20 Chinese airports in areas including commercial development, operations and service quality, as well as airport management training. To find out more about CAI's consultancy services, email: consulting@cai.sg

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