This post by David Ziegler originally appeared in the 3D Perspectives Blog.
Airports are at the heart of air travel – dubbed “the business of freedom” by the International Air Transport Association. In the digital age, an airport’s role is far greater than connecting people with flights. With demand for air travel expected to double by 2037 and digitally connected travelers demanding ever more seamless, personalized experiences, airports are under pressure to become transport infrastructure nodes that can redefine the passenger experience.
Smart airports such as Las Vegas McCarron International, London Heathrow and Hong Kong International are using advanced data sharing technology. This way, they focus on collaboration between airlines, retailers, transport providers and other partners to create a unique and personalized passenger experience.
A digital twin enables the creation of a 3D virtual experience of the entire terminal. These virtual spaces use operational and passenger data from multiple sources to provide an exact twin of the airport that opens new ways of thinking about planning, innovation and collaboration.
Using a digital twin, airports and their maintenance partners can see clearly where planned or urgent maintenance is needed, which airport operations it will affect, and how it can be carried out with minimal disruption. But the technology empowers airports to do much more than keep things running smoothly.
With space at a premium, airports are looking to self-service check-in, remote baggage drops and public transport baggage delivery services to further optimize flow and free space for other uses.
A digital twin enables the flexibility and collaboration needed to maximize the positive impact of these changes on the passenger experience. It can provide a clear, real-time picture, for instance, of exactly how a digital way-finding solution will optimize passenger flow and increase time and spend at retailers and restaurants. And, with powerful predictive analytics, it enables multiple stakeholders to visualize, plan and manage the flexible use of spaces to serve passengers’ immediate needs.
Data sharing, virtual and augmented reality technologies also give airports a unique opportunity optimize travelers’ retail experience and maximize revenues. Airports can engage with passengers as they move around the airport, seamlessly blending personalized convenience with a consistent brand experience. That could be a unique offer on a traveler’s mobile device, an immersive in-store experience or a super-fast download for their in-flight entertainment. Knowing who, how and when to engage enables the airport to create true value.
Visit our website to find out how the 3DEXPERIENCE® platform can help airports use digital twins to redefine the passenger experience.