There may be even fewer airport jobs in future –…

there-may-be-even-fewer-airport-jobs-in-future-–…

There may be even fewer airport jobs in future –…

There may be even fewer airport jobs in future – if robots take on much of the work
2021-05-04 15:49:00
We are often given estimates of large numbers of new, good quality, jobs that will be produced if an airport expands. Those very rarely materialise, as the sector works hard to mechanise and automate as much as possible, to reduce numbers of staff. There are growing numbers of robots at airports, carrying out a range of jobs. A survey by Air Transport IT Insights recently found that almost half of global airlines and 32% of airports are currently looking for partners to further develop their robotic involvement in the next 3 years. The latest developments see robots staffing airport check-in desks, carrying out security protocols, cleaning and delivering food (ordered through a contactless system) to passengers while they wait in lounges for their flights.  There has been more cleaning needed, due to Covid – and people are increasingly happy to avoid physical contact or interaction with staff. However, the robot technologies are not yet properly developed and there will be a lot of issues on safety, reliability etc before they become very widespread. .Tweet   The robots taking over the world’s airports By Frankie Youd (Airport Technology) 04 May 2021 PHL Food & Shops, the concessions programme at Philadelphia International Airport, is piloting a contactless ordering system featuring robotic food delivery. It will join other robots that are already carrying out various roles at airports. From safety and security to cleaning and deliveries, we round up the interesting ways that airports are using robots worldwide. A survey carried out by Air Transport IT Insights recently found that almost half of global airlines and 32% of airports are currently looking for partners to further develop their robotic involvement in the next three years. The latest developments see robots staffing airport check-in desks, carrying out security protocols, cleaning and even delivering food to passengers. The airport security segment currently has the highest number of robots according to the Airport robots market – growth, trends, Covid-19 impact, and forecasts 2021-2026 report by Mordor Intelligence. The next most common use of airport robotics is for cleaning, which has seen a rise in demand due to the Covid-19 pandemic. PHL Food and Shops have introduced a new member to their team Philadelphia International Airport, Gita. Standing 26 inches tall and able to carry up to 18kg for four hours – which is the equivalent of 20 miles of walking – on one single charge, Gita navigates busy, pedestrian-filled locations with human-like etiquette. Gita has been tasked with delivering food orders to airport passengers while they wait in lounges for their flights. PHL already had a contactless ordering system in place that allowed customers to order food. Now the company has partnered with app developer AtYourGate and Gita’s developer Piaggio Fast Forward to have Gita complete the process with automated delivery. Customers at the airport can confirm food delivery from any of the 19 restaurants and retailers currently part of the scheme via an app or the PHL website. Once prepared, onsite delivery specialist Claire Maddocks collects the order and escorts Gita the robot who carries the to the customer. MarketPlace PHL marketing and customer service manager Megan O’Connell explains that the robot not only helps carry large orders but also provides a contactless experience for customers. This offers the added advantage of reducing the possibility of Covid-19 transmission. O’Connell explained. “There are some questions about what the point of the robot is because it does have to have a person with it. I explain to people that the point is not only does this robot help Maddocks carry the food, but the biggest part of it is also that it gives the customer a choice of whether they want to have contact or not with her.” O’Connell said. “If they don’t want to have contact with her, she can walk up with the robot, open the lid and [then] she can retreat back, the person can take their food out of the robot without ever having to interact with her.” PHL hopes the option of using Gita will increase customer confidence post-pandemic and will increase the consensus surrounding public safety and confidence in coming back to the airport. O’Conne

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