Frequent Flyers, Take Hope: New Arup Report Reveals the Surprising Future of Air Travel

Based on findings from international forums, Arup predicts the trends and challenges confronting the aviation sector, and offers an expert framework for dramatically improving the travel experience.

Mar 16, 2016, 12:26 ET from Arup

NEW YORK, March 16, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- With the number of airline passengers expected to exceed 6 billion by 2030, the aviation industry faces challenges to its growth on many fronts, among them security, sustainability, infrastructure, and financial issues. Arup, a leader in interdisciplinary engineering, consulting, and design services in the built environment, has released a research report, Future of Air Travel, which outlines a bold response to manage this reality, which is only predicted to get more complex.

"We are on the cusp of a transformational change in technology that could revolutionize the entire travel experience," said Susan Baer, Arup Global Aviation Business Leader. By identifying new ideas and opportunities within the ever-changing world of aviation, Future of Air Travel provides an intriguing look ahead. The report examines key elements that are vital to renewing the industry, and offers innovative design solutions that aim to improve the passenger experience. Among them:

  • The travel experience will be more personalized, from beginning to end. By harnessing personal data, the smart airport of the future will be able to respond to the passenger's needs at every stage of the journey. Terminals will be planned and designed more efficiently, as processing functions are increasingly integrated into the Smart City grid.
  • Passenger screening will be streamlined. Currently focused on gauging the capability to do harm, airport security stations consume substantial floor space and resources to screen for prohibited items. Risk-based screening, which assesses an individual's intent to harm, offers the promise of reducing the need for traditional checkpoints through virtual, data-based screening.
  • The passenger terminal will be more dynamic and efficient. By consolidating functions such as flight check-in, customs, and screening, the layout of passenger terminals can be condensed into more operationally flexible footprints, eliminating extended, multi-stop treks from ticketing counter to departure gate.
  • Checked bags will travel on their own. Smart-suitcase technology will free travellers from hauling luggage to and through airports. From a remote drop-off location, bags will be automatically routed to destinations, reducing on-site airport baggage handling systems.

To view the full Future of Air Travel report, visit arup.com/The_future_of_air_travel

The report is based on conferences held in San Francisco and Istanbul that were attended by thought-leaders from the aviation field and beyond: operators, planners, developers, engineers, economists, and technologists. Arup, a major force in designing for aviation, convened the forums to help build a detailed understanding of the diverse influences shaping the future of air travel across socio-cultural, technological, economic, environmental, and political domains.

"Total Architecture," a concept pioneered by company founder Ove Arup, informs the firm's approach to aviation projects. It implies that all relevant design decisions—integrating architecture, planning, engineering, and site work—be made by consensus with artistic wholeness as the goal. It's a holistic outlook that Baer, Project Director for the forums, adopted as the organizing principle for the events. "By inviting a broad group of aviation stakeholders to participate in the conference, we are able to better define the needs of the industry. This knowledge enables the Arup team to develop efficient, resilient, and practical solutions for the future of air travel. It's a model we look forward to applying to upcoming forums in other locations."

From transaction advice and strategic planning to program development and operational readiness, Arup offers expertise in all facets of airport design. With more than a half-century of experience in the aviation sector and a partner in more than 100 of the world's most significant airport developments within the last five years, the firm is optimally positioned to advance the air travel ecosystem. Its global presence allows Arup to quickly develop and deliver innovative, comprehensive services to its international clients with consistency and value.

About Arup
The preeminent provider of interdisciplinary engineering, consulting, and design services in the built environment, Arup drives the world's most prominent projects, from city-building to iconic architecture. The firm opened its first US office over 30 years ago, and now employs 1,300 people in the Americas. Since its founding in 1946, Arup has pioneered groundbreaking strategies, technical excellence, and social purpose. As a responsive and respectful business partner, Arup honorably serves its clients and shapes a better world.  

Contact: Tami Hausman
hausman@hausmanllc.com
646.742.1700

Contact: Rebecca Maloney
rebecca.maloney@arup.com
617.412.6632

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