Airport Show 2018 Smart security, technology, digitalization & innovation
The global aviation industry saw a record over 4 billion passenger traffic in 2017 but with international travel forecasts to grow at 8.4 percent this year that figure may swell to a new high.
Airports in different parts of the world are racing against time to adequately cope with the rising number of passengers, investing heavily on smart security, technology and digitalization and embracing innovations in various areas to speed up processing time without compromising security and convenience of passengers.
In the Middle East, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), home to the one of the world’s biggest airlines, Emirates, is leading in terms of exponential growth in airports with 37 planes arriving every hour at the Dubai International Airport (DXB) and 41 aircraft leaving every 60 minutes, according to its operator, Dubai Airports.
In 2017, annual traffic at DXB reached 88.2 million, keeping its position as the world’s number one airport for international passengers for the 4th consecutive year. It welcomed six new scheduled passenger airlines during the year— SalamAir, Badr Airlines, and Air Moldova, while home based carriers Emirates and flydubai added 3 and 10 new passenger destinations and increased frequency/capacity on 31 and 22 routes, respectively.
DXB projects its passenger traffic in 2018 to reach over 90 million eventually rising to 118 million in the years ahead.
In the region, Turkey is aggressively competing with the UAE in the aviation industry with Turkish Airlines becoming more popular globally, closing 2017 with nearly US$1 billion in profits.
Turkey’s Ataturk International Airport handles more than 63 million passengers annually. This year, the country is scheduled to open a new airport—Istanbul New Airport— described as the biggest in the world with ultra modern features and even capable of thwarting security threats as was the case in Ataturk in 2016 that resulted to the death of over 40 people and injuring nearly 250.
Saudi Arabia is also heavily investing on aviation, transport and other industries amid a widespread initiative for economic reforms in the Kingdom. Saudi Arabian Airlines, the flag carrier, opened in December of 2017 a city terminal check-in facility enabling passengers to skip long queues at the King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah.
The kingdom is also carrying out expansion at its main international airport with capacity to service 70 aircraft simultaneously, featuring (3,700) prayer rooms, a 4-star hotel, a 14-meter-high aquarium, (299) elevators, 18,000 square meters of internal green spaces and 28,000 square meters of retail spaces.
Jordan, Kuwait and Egypt are similarly expanding their aviation industry through liberalization policies and enjoining investments from the private sector.
Biggest airport show
Held under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, Chairman of Dubai Airports, Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates Airline and Group, the Airport Show 2018 promises to be the most important event of its kind with leading international suppliers of the most advanced airport solutions participating.
“Through the solid support from both government and private sectors, the 18th edition of Airport Show will continue to offer our airport development teams and colleagues around the region an invaluable opportunity to view the latest global technologies, meet aviation experts from around the world and share ideas, best practices and create new opportunities for our industry to collaborate,” Reed Exhibitions, the Airport Show organizer said.
The B2B event draws more than 350 exhibitors from over 80 countries annually with thousands of unique visitors from the Middle East, Africa and South Asia’s growing aviation industry.
Security continues to play an increasingly important role as airports remain keen to accelerate their outputs while enhancing their customer experience.
Airport Show’s 18th edition will have co-located events—the Air Traffic Control Forum; Airport Security Middle East; the CAPA (Center for Aviation) Global Airport Leaders Forum, and; Women in Aviation.
Organizer said the most future proof airport security products and services from around the world will be on display at the event happening on May 7-9, 2018 at the Dubai International Convention Exhibition Center.
Experts said about US$100 billion worth of airport-related projects are planned & underway across the Middle East & North Africa (MENA) region.