Noida International Airport (NIA), which is gearing for launch by end-2024, will serve as an incubation centre to test technology for operational efficiency and customer experience, Chief Executive Officer Christoph Schnellmann said.

While construction of terminal and other facilities is underway, NIA is collaborating with airlines and service providers for technology and traffic. Last week, it tied up with IndiGo which will be the launch carrier at the airport. The two sides will work closely on network development and improving customer experience.

Schnellmann said NIA will be developed as a major gateway airport to support the growing traffic demand in Delhi National Capital Region and western Uttar Pradesh. “We will support IndiGo with the deployment of their aircraft as we move ahead in this strategic partnership,” he said.

“We envision pilot projects around the use of digital technology to enhance airport operations and passenger experience,” Schnellmann added.

Push for digital solutions

“NIA’s push to introduce digital solutions is in line with ongoing trends. Globally, airlines and airports are investing in technology to streamline processes, personalise travel experiences and earn better revenue. Last year’s airport IT spending globally rose to an estimated $ 6.8 billion,” Airports Council International said in April.

The Digi Yatra app, a Civil Aviation Ministry initiative, was used by 3.46 million users in eight months since its launch in December 2022. The facial recognition technology based system allows for paperless boarding and is available at thirteen airports within the country.

There are other ongoing initiatives too. In June, Bengaluru airport launched BLR pulse app that gives passengers real time updates of various touchpoints that allows them to order meals from restaurants, book room in transit hotel etc.

Delhi airport said it plans to use predictive analytics for effective manpower deployment and smoother terminal operations. This will be useful as the airport faced congestion issues last winter.

“Restructuring and digital transformation is critical to create new business models which can withstand externals shock such as pandemics, economic downturns, oil price spikes etc,” aviation consultancy CAPA India said.