The International Air Transport Association (IATA) predicts that the number of air travelers could double by 2037 to 8.2 billion. As a result, new jobs will be created and economic benefits will be generated. Airports, for their part, will face new challenges. They will have to be able to meet the growing demand. To do so, they will be responsible for building new infrastructure as well as best practices in sustainable transition.
In addition to addressing the traditional issues of traffic congestion and pollution, airports will need to provide an enhanced passenger experience. MaaS solutions, therefore represent an interesting opportunity. Indeed, by putting mobility at the service of the user, these solutions have the potential to facilitate travel to and from airports, but not only ! By allowing users to book and pay for intermodal trips, it also promotes new sustainable mobility.
Making airports sustainable
The current context
To make airports greener, many are looking to the sky for solutions. Forgetting that there are also possibilities on the ground! Air transport today accounts for 2% of global CO2 emissions. This is a figure that could increase by 300 to 700% by 2050, if growth is not significantly curbed. Driven by public demand and the requirements of international agreements, airlines and airports must make efforts to reduce their ecological footprint.
Environmentalists generally focus their attention on the planes themselves. What is less well known, however, is that half of the emissions, over and above those emitted by an airport itself, come from the trips to and from the airports made by passengers and staff. As a result, these journeys have a significant impact on air quality and traffic congestion.
Airports tend to be located away from residential areas to minimize air and noise pollution. On average, the distance between city centers and the 10 largest European airports is 30 kilometers. This results in hard-to-reach locations. While they are often well served by transportation from nearby cities, this is rarely the case for rural areas. As a result, personal vehicles are often the preferred means of transportation. Efforts to reduce the overall carbon footprint of aviation must therefore take the big picture into account. They should not be limited to the airport itself. Intelligent mobility services can help bridge the gap between the flexibility of the private car and the efficiency of public transit.
The future of airport parking
Interesting to know : the growth rate of airport parking is slowing down, while the number of passengers is increasing. In the coming years, airport parking will experience two major changes. On the one hand, the generalization of electric vehicles (EV) and on the other hand, the arrival of autonomous vehicles (AV).
By 2030, it is estimated that up to 90% of parking spaces will be eliminated with the arrival of fully autonomous vehicles (level 4 and 5). In addition, the growing adoption of electric vehicles will require the massive deployment of charging stations.
A possible solution: the MaaS
Thanks to MaaS, airports have the opportunity to promote sustainable mobility. By adopting such solutions, travelers will be able to compare and book different means of transportation, parking spaces and recharging stations (for Electric Vehicules). All at the right time, at the best price, and with ease. Implementing these technologies will enable airports to offer more efficient and sustainable services.
In addition to Mobility as a service, other solutions promote a greener mobility. This is especially the case of electric and autonomous vehicles, which are offering direct benefits. Robo-taxis are undoubtedly among the vehicles that will have a high adoption rate in the future. Waymo, the autonomous vehicle business unit of Alphabet (Google’s parent company), recently announced that it is opening its autonomous cab service to the public in the Phoenix area (United States).
Enhanced travel experience
A travel experience begins at home. Travelers compare the most relevant options for getting to the airport before their departures. With MaaS solutions, airlines can also improve the customer experience. According to Forrester Research, U.S. airlines lose an average of $1.4 billion annual revenue by not improving the customer experience. That’s a significant revenue loss !
A survey made by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) showed that 65% of passengers are willing to share information such as the address of their destination, and the purpose of their trip in order to speed up check-in at the airport.
Thanks to MaaS, airlines have the opportunity to provide an enhanced travel experience. By understanding their customers’ transportation preferences, they will be able to anticipate their needs. As a result, they will be able to offer tailor-made experiences.
Offer a variety of transportation options
MaaS solutions optimize the door-to-door experience for travelers. Directly from the airport platforms, it is possible to create a global user experience. Travelers will be able to plan and book all their transportation within a single platform. Whether it’s to catch a plane or to get to a hotel. What’s more, they will benefit from an enhanced online experience and an overall time savings.
Inform customers in real time
With MaaS solutions, customers and airlines can benefit from real-time information. Through this, airlines can ensure that travelers arrive at their destinations. It is also important to note that receiving accurate and immediate information gives customers the clarity they need.
In the future, additional information may also be distributed on these platforms. All Nippon Airways (ANA), a Japanese airline company, announce that it will soon offer a MaaS solution. On its mobile application, it will be possible to access interesting information such as the departure terminal, boarding gate or check-in/check-out points.
How to implement Maas solutions in airports?
Thanks to APIs like those of Lyko, it is possible to deploy MaaS solutions with ease. Airports can thus facilitate passenger transfers to and from their sites. Indeed, it is possible to integrate service mobility solutions on their websites, applications or even on interactive kiosks. In concrete terms, once at the airport, passengers will no longer need to connect to wifi or use 3G/4G. They will have 24/7 access to all transport options.
Another advantage of interactive kiosks is that they meet the needs of occasional or non-local travelers. According to the report “Activity results of French airports” published by the Union des Aéroports Français & Francophones Associés, 88% of passengers in French airports were foreigners in 2019. Concretely, today many airports see their websites and applications abandoned. Indeed, for one or two trips within an airport, non-local passengers will not find it necessary to use the digital tools that airports have set up. This is in contrast to the population living around the airports, who frequently use the website and the application of the airline complex. Thanks to the deployment of MaaS platforms, on interactive terminals, travelers will be able to access public and private transportation offers as well as information about the airports.
By adopting a MaaS solution, an airport will be able to provide users with access to a wide range of transportation options. With the advantage of being able to offer trips according to their budgets and needs. In today’s environment, airports need to offer their customers complete transportation solutions. As we have just seen, travelers’ habits and expectations are changing. The adoption of MaaS solutions will certainly help airports address future issues.