Airports across the Middle East, one of the fastest growing aviation sectors in the world, are driving investment to the tune of millions of dollars toward airport technology with a view to enhancing security and ensuring a seamless passenger experience.
The region, led by the United Arab Emirates (UAE), is expected to record over 4.8 per cent annual growth in passenger numbers over the next 20 years compared to a global average of 3.7 per cent, according to International Air Transport Association (IATA), which increases the challenge of ensuring that the growing number of passengers are handled efficiently without compromising on security.
Adopting innovative technology
Mohammed Ahli, Director General, Dubai Civil Aviation Authority (DCAA), said: “Our two international airports are gearing up to serve up to 146 million passengers by 2025 and there will be a corresponding huge expansion in related fields in the aviation sector. This necessitates the need for ensuring safety and security for all stakeholders, passengers, airlines and the general public. We are fully prepared to face this challenge by adopting advanced technology and deploying trained personnel for the job. We understand that aviation security is not, and should not be, of a transit nature, but a constantly evolving requirement. It’s crucial to adopt innovative technology, improve security and streamline efficiencies to offer a seamless passenger travel experience.”
Increase in passenger numbers and the increased need for security reforms amid unrest in many parts of the world, have increased the need for security reforms and there is major focus on investment toward security. Globally, the airport security market size is set to exceed USD 12.8 billion by 2023, according to a new research report by Global Market Insights. According to the report, rising safety and passenger protection concerns, growing air traffic with the increasing air travellers owing to the time related factors and rising disposable income are expected to stimulate the global airport security market size over the forecast period. Enhancement of security technology that offers operators with better situational awareness, greater efficiency and increased security is anticipated to contribute to the airport security market size, the report says.
Another report by Visiongain assesses that the airport security market will reach $9,336m in 2016, driven by growth in the commercial air transport market and the need to process increasing passenger numbers without negatively impacting upon the quality of security.
Leading change in aviation security
The UAE has been driving the growth in the Middle East and is uniquely placed to lead change in aviation security, according to experts.
"The Middle East has a unique opportunity, due to its location and rapid growth, to lead change and innovation in regards to security"
Angela Gittens, Director General, Airport Councils International (ACI), said: “The Middle East has a unique opportunity, due to its location and rapid growth, to lead change and innovation in regards to security. Dubai International Airport for one, the next-generation travel hub, is implementing innovative practices such as automatic passenger identification and a seamless passenger journey.”
Airport Show 2017
The 17th edition of the Airport Show, to be held in Dubai from May 15-17, will bring in world-leading companies to highlight the latest safety and security solutions and products. The Airport Show, with a participation from over 300 leading companies from around the world, will have a dedicated Security zone, which will highlight cutting edge technologies from around the world.
Daniyal Qureshi, Group Exhibitions Director, Reed Exhibitions Middle East, said: “Airports in the Middle East have been witnessing massive investments and are on the forefront when it comes to adopting the latest smart technologies. From using robotics to biometrics, the Middle East and UAE, in particular, are adopting technologies that are significantly impactful when it comes to ensuring security and enhancing the passenger experience. With the focus on security rising worldwide, these technologies are highly relevant. The Airport Show provides an opportunity to explore the latest technologies from around the world on one platform.”
The Airport Security Zone at Airport Show 2017 will offer a dedicated platform to launch a wide range of products in different categories such as biometrics, checkpoint and baggage screening, digital and network surveillance, bird control systems, self-service and baggage handling systems, systems for passport readers/ scanners, access and perimeter control, air cargo X-ray screening equipment, emergency alarm and warning systems, smart building automation, hardware and data security, fencing, surveillance and security risk management systems.