The global smart airports market size was estimated at USD 10.09 billion in 2016. The growth can be attributed to the rising adoption of digital technologies across the world, which has led to digital transformation and expansion of personalized experiences offered to passengers.
The global market has grown in prominence with new innovative technologies, which have helped personalize user experiences. The increasing demand for real-time information is expected to propel the market growth as these solutions ease the burden on airport infrastructure and workforce. The modernization of old airports, establishment of new airports, development in commercial aviation, and the increasing focus on green initiatives are the key growth drivers expected to boost the market over the forecast period.
U.S. smart airport market, by technology, 2014 - 2025 (USD Million)
The introduction of various devices with innovative features, such as customer identification through a unique heart beat pattern with the help of biodynamic and biometric signatures, and the deployment of artificial intelligence technology across airports, are supporting the management and control of large airport databases.
An emerging trend in the industry is the development and commercialization of new intelligent technologies that provide a digital ecosystem, such as automated check-in, flight book management, and baggage and document check. Airports across the world are increasingly adopting technology-enabled devices, such as smart luggage system and on-site application of Internet of Things (IoT) to transform customer experiences.
The industry is leveraging the benefits of new technologies such as Quick Response (QR) codes, Near-Field Communication (NFC), Augmented Reality (AR), and beacons to enhance the automation of various airport processes. Moreover, the growing demand for biometric devices at airports is creating new opportunities for market growth over the forecast period.
The various technologies analyzed in the report include security systems; communication systems; passenger, cargo, & baggage ground handling control; air/ground traffic control, and others. The communication systems segment is presumed to witness the fastest growth over the next eight years.
At present, airports are accumulating passenger information and are creating their database to provide various value-added benefits to passengers, such as information about the nearest retail locations, live updates on flight status, traffic and parking updates, guidance for check-in and baggage drop, directions for immigration check, and live updates on bus and taxi transportation services.
An emerging trend in the smart airports market is the development of queue management systems that utilize existing CCTV systems and predict the waiting time in check-in areas, security checkpoints, taxi lanes, and passport control. The technology counts the number of passengers captured in the CCTV cameras, calculate the waiting time, and predict the time lost by a passenger in queue.
International organizations and industry associations across the world are focusing their efforts on the enhancement of passenger travel experience and are moving toward a smart airport approach. Companies in this domain have now started developing smart airport security solutions to provide an advanced scanning technology using face and eye recognition systems.
The various application types analyzed in the report include aeronautical and non-aeronautical operations. The non-aeronautical segment is poised to witness significant growth over the forecast period. Services such as retail outlets, restaurants, smart parking, Wi-Fi, advertising, lounge access, and personalized services are driving the growth in non-aeronautical applications.
Airports worldwide have now started diversifying their income and are spending heavily to include non-aeronautical operations, such as providing parking facilities, duty-free shops, lounges, boarding facilities, conference rooms, and lodging facilities. They are now focusing their efforts on passenger satisfaction, and have started providing various facilities, such as shopping outlets and personalized information regarding retail showrooms and offers, by identifying the precise habits and needs of passengers, in order to create a personalized user experience.
Airport operators are increasingly deploying new technologies to boost their revenues. For instance, Frankfurt Airport operates virtual shopping malls to enable passengers to scan QR codes for buying goods. Moreover, airports across Europe and Asia Pacific have started providing a wide range of personalized benefits to passengers, such as offers and discounts, which, in turn, are increasing the airports’ non-aeronautical revenues.
The three primary locations analyzed in the report include landside, airside, and terminal side. The terminal side segment is expected to emerge as the largest segment over the forecast period. Travel concierges offer details of the flight on smartphones or at airport kiosks. The segment involves devices that provide location services and alerts for directing customers to their terminals and gates with personalized retail and hospitality offerings.
Global smart airport market, by location, 2016 (%)
The airside segment is expected to witness the highest growth over the forecast period. Intelligent innovations in airside location include a wide range of advanced technologies, such as in-wallet scanning, facial recognition for passenger boarding, geo-location of passengers, and coordination of teams with real-time information on aircraft landings. The developments in digital technologies adopted in the landside location include transport synchronization, real-time flight information, advanced booking services, and intelligent passenger management systems.
North America accounted for the largest market share of the global industry in 2016. The rapid developments at smart airports across the U.S. are supported by various factors, such as the introduction of RFID/NFC-based baggage tracking systems and smart security gates along with the increasing need for real-time information, unmanned immigration system, real-time CCTV surveillance, on-demand self-service, user-specific offerings, and system-generated alerts.
Asia Pacific is expected to emerge as the fastest-growing region over the next eight years. The region is exhibiting a growing adoption of artificial intelligence, robotics, and biometric-enabled bag drop facilities, typically in Japan and China. Southeast Asia is anticipated to expand in terms of security, technology, infrastructure, and services by providing new innovative airport solutions to passengers, such as automated bag drop and self-service check-ins.
The Middle East & Africa (MEA) region is expected to experience a profound growth over the forecast period, mainly owing to the rising passenger traffic and the expansion of airport modernization programs across major airports. Busy airports across the UAE have started adopting voice-based artificial intelligence tools and digital assistance to provide real-time information to passengers.
The industry is dynamic in nature and is expected to witness significant growth in the near future. Companies within the marketplace are introducing new innovative products and technologies to stay abreast with airport modernization and address the growing demand for real-time information effectively. Key industry players are adopting merger and acquisition strategies, as well as forming alliances with other players across the value chain to increase their revenue share.
Companies worldwide are emphasizing on technological innovation to generate fresh revenue streams by shifting to digital platforms and smart technologies that permit self-service processes. The key players accounting for a significant market share include Amadeus IT Group S.A., Cisco Systems, Inc., Honeywell International Inc., Siemens AG, and IBM. Other companies include Sabre Corporation, Thales Group, T-Systems International GmbH, and QinetiQ Group Plc.
Base Year for Estimation
Actual Estimates/Historical Data
2014 & 2015
Revenue in USD Million and CAGR from 2017 to 2025
North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, Middle East & Africa (MEA)
U.S., Canada, Germany, UK, China, Japan, India, Mexico, and Brazil
Revenue forecasts, company market share, competitive landscape, growth factors, and trends
15% free customization scope (equivalent to 5 analysts working days)
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This report forecasts revenue growth at the global, regional, and country levels and provides an analysis of the industry trends in each of the sub-segments from 2014 to 2025. For the purpose of this study, Grand View Research has segmented the global smart airports market on the basis of technology, application, location, and region:
Technology Outlook (USD Million, 2014 - 2025)
Passenger, Cargo, & Baggage Ground Handling Control
Air/Ground Traffic Control
Application Outlook (USD Million, 2014 - 2025)
Location Outlook (USD Million, 2014 - 2025)
Air Traffic Management (ATM)
Aircraft Parking & Maintenance
Regional Outlook (USD Million, 2014 - 2025)
Middle East & Africa
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Artificial Intelligence (AI), Virtual Reality (VR), and Augmented Reality (AR) solutions are anticipated to substantially contribute while responding to the COVID-19 pandemic and address continuously evolving challenges. The existing situation owing to the outbreak of the epidemic will inspire pharmaceutical vendors and healthcare establishments to improve their R&D investments in AI, acting as a core technology for enabling various initiatives. The insurance industry is expected to confront the pressure associated with cost-efficiency. Usage of AI can help in reducing operating costs, and at the same time, can increase customer satisfaction during the renewal process, claims, and other services. VR/AR can assist in e-learning, for which the demand will surge owing to the closure of many schools and universities. Further, VR/AR can also prove to be a valuable solution in providing remote assistance as it can support in avoiding unnecessary travel. The report will account for Covid19 as a key market contributor.