So what’s NEXTT? – Exploring the possibilities of future air travel

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has released its ‘NEXTT’ Vision for the future of air travel, where progressive airports and airlines will utilise New Experience Travel Technologies to turn flights from mundane and purely functional undertakings into complete end-to-end journey experiences.

 

IATA believes that the rapid emergence of 4th industrial revolution technologies means that some of the world’s leading airports and airlines will be able to present these NEXTT concepts as fully fleshed-out travel experiences to their audiences as early as 2020. The vision for NEXTT covers the full transformation of the journey of cargo, passengers, their baggage and the aircraft itself.

 

Through a series of dedicated webinars and whole-journey explorations, IATA envisages the wholesale improvement of air travel operations across all of the following:

 

Cargo

The successful booking, loading, tracking and delivering of airfreight is due a comprehensive upgrade, courtesy of technologies making more intelligent use of data already at operators’ fingertips. Better use of data through advanced DA platforms, AI and machine learning will help forge a vastly improved supply chain that is characterised by its complete network visibility and transparency, coupled with ease of access for its users and pinpoint accuracy of delivery times and locations.

 

Passengers and their baggage

The evolution of the customer experience is something that all competitive airports are actively trying to achieve, and the utilisation of NEXTT is unlocking the path ahead. It will start with a completely seamless booking process that plays into the concept of next-level passenger identity management and travel communications. The desired result is that all passengers will be able to enjoy ‘walking-pace processing’ through airport security, thanks to the use of biometrics and advanced baggage scanning equipment.

Each stage of the journey will be highly personalised, as passengers will enjoy a wide range of personalised services and ‘on the fly’ purchasing offers, as well as timely travel information updates on their personal device of choice. This will extend beyond ‘operations as normal’ services and will give passengers the information they need to minimise their personal disruption in the event of delays, cancellations or other unforeseen circumstances.

This philosophy of seamless processing and personalised services will extend to their baggage as well, which will have its own digital identity, will be tracked throughout the journey and passengers will have a range of baggage pickup and delivery options to choose from.

 

Aircraft

IATA’s NEXTT Vision for the aircraft itself follows the philosophy of A-CDM (Airport Collaborative Decision Making) to allow for the integration of all operational data in one place. This enables all stakeholders to work to a single Airport Operations Plan and provides complete optimisation of all scheduling and real-time decisions for the entirety of the aircraft’s journey.

Through the use of relevant digital and cloud-based tools, this approach will allow for much greater situational awareness for all stakeholders, improving their ability to secure optimal scheduling of flights, pre-empt delays and enable faster recovery from disruptive weather, while also improving overall visibility, security and sustainability of each and every flight.

 

The future of NEXTT is the future of air travel

IATA’s vision is one that sees a much more collaborative, tech-enabled future of air travel, where the airport and airline operators are working more closely together to make optimal use of their time, data and operational assets. The customer will sit squarely in the centre of this new format too, as the same operators will have a holistic view of each passenger in their care. This will allow them to identify, process, relax, entertain and generally impress their target audience with greater accuracy, elevating the experience of flying from a chore to a pleasure.

 

This article was created in association with Airport Show on 22-24 June 2020.

 

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