The inaugural Global Airport and Passenger Symposium (GAPS) will address the challenge of improving passenger experience in the face of rising demand, IATA has announced.

The three-day event, to be held in Athens, is expected to draw more than 500 senior delegates from across the travel value chain.

The primary drivers of change in improving passenger experience are expected to be data-driven technology solutions, IATA said. Four main areas of change will be examined: 

  • The Transforming Airport: Technology will enable the transfer of some airport processes offsite and transform how passengers board their planes once they are at the airport.
  • The World of Interactive Data: The real-time exchange of operational data is enabling collaborative decision-making and creating business opportunities to serve customers better.
  • The Seamless Journey: Back office efficiencies such as ONE Order and innovation in identity management such as ONE ID could revolutionize airport processes.
  • The Aircraft Experience: Improvements in aircraft design and on-board systems will enable product innovations that customize the passenger experience while expanding revenue-generating opportunities.

“Air travel is expected to double by 2036. The industry will not be able to handle the growth or evolving customer expectations with the current processes, installations, and ways of doing business,” said Nick Careen, IATA Senior Vice President, Airport, Passenger, Cargo and Security.

“GAPS brings together experts to share research and learnings and collectively shape solutions for the future passenger journey,” he explained.

Other GAPS highlights will include:

  • Results of IATA’s 2018 Global Passenger Survey
  • Economic and Passenger Outlook presented by Brian Pearce, IATA Chief Economist
  • Dedicated session on ‘Making the Bag Digital’
  • Presentation of IATA StartUp Innovation Awards
  • An exhibition showcasing the latest products, technologies and solutions that define the passenger experience both on the ground and in the air.