Airline passengers, airport managers and neighboring airport communities might expect to encounter new and advanced technology in the near future.
In the safety and security area, passengers should expect to see biometrics being implemented into the checkpoint, and eventually into the passenger boarding process. In the future, ideally, a passenger face or other biometric will be both their ID to get through the airport and their boarding pass.
Since the current x-ray machines and screeners are having a difficult time identifying prohibited items and distinguishing food from explosive materials, better technology is needed. TSA’s solution seems to include passengers removing more items from their bags but that’s a step backwards. We started using x-ray machines so passengers would not have to remove items from their bags. Expect larger machines in the checkpoint as the TSA begins limited deployment of their EDS (i.e. cat-scan) type machines that are used to screen checked bags to continue to improve their programs.
In the airfield, passengers may soon notice the use of drone technology. Some drones are already in use for airfield patrol and during emergency responses to provide a real-time video feed from the eye in the sky perspective. Some airports have also tested unmanned ground vehicles to conduct airfield inspections and possibly even snow removal.
One thing many homeowners will notice is a change in flight patterns at their nearby airport. With the implementation of NextGen technologies that allow new and more efficient types of approaches into airports, inbound and outbound flight paths may be changing. They are already seeing this in Arizona where I believe lawsuits have already been filed.
One thing is for sure. As the world evolves, so must security and airport management.