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First airport-passenger symposium to launch

The inaugural Global Airport and Passenger Symposium will look at how to transform the passenger-airport experience.

The International Air Transport Association has announced the inaugural Global Airport and Passenger Symposium, otherwise known as GAPS, which will “address the challenge of improving the passengers’ experience as demand rises”.

The first edition will take place in Athens, Greece, on October 2-4, when more than 500 senior delegates from across the aviation travel industry are expected to attend.

The primary drivers of change in this area are expected to be data-driven technology solutions, and the event will help stakeholders across the aviation sector map out the future around four main areas.

Interactive data
The first of these is the “transforming airport”, spotlighting how technology will enable the transfer of some airport processes offsite and transform how passengers board their planes once they are at the airport.

The second is the ‘world of interactive data’, looking at how “the real-time exchange of operational data is enabling collaborative decision-making and creating business opportunities to serve customers better”, IATA says.

The third, called ‘seamless journey’, studies back-office efficiencies and innovation in identity management, on how they offer the possibility to revolutionise airport processes.

Lastly is the ‘aircraft experience’, looking at improvements in aircraft design and onboard systems and how they will enable product innovations that customise the passenger experience while expanding revenue-generating opportunities.

“Air travel is expected to double by 2036 [and] the industry will not be able to handle the growth or evolving customer expectations with the current processes, installations and ways of doing business,” IATA warns.

“GAPS brings together experts to share research and learnings and collectively shape solutions for the future passenger journey,” said Nick Careen, the association’s senior vice president for airport, passenger, cargo and security.

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