The world's best airport just got even better. 

September 06, 2017

Passengers can now look forward to shorter wait times at the world’s best airport, thanks to a major technological update.

SATS Ltd., the chief ground-handling and in-flight catering service provider for Singapore’s Changi Airport has announced that new augmented reality smart glasses will be provided for ground crew. They could help speed up the loading process for flights by as much as 15 minutes.

This is the first use of AR technology in ramp handling, according to the provider, with Changi Airport staff being able to see real-time instructions straight through the eyewear. With the glasses, ramp operators can instantly scan the codes on baggage and cargo containers to see everything from an item's weight to its loading sequence.

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Meanwhile, the glasses also include built-in cameras and recording features that allow the airport’s control center to monitor all on-ground processes.

Not only does the technology help cut wait times, but the hands-free scanning of items also allows for increased safety for employees. 

“With passenger demand forecast to double by 2035 to 7.2 billion air travelers, we are preparing to handle more passengers, aircraft, and airfreight,” Alex Hungate, president and CEO of SATS, said in a statement. “By introducing augmented reality to our ground handling operations, we are improving services for airlines, passengers, and airfreight shippers,” he added.

Some airlines have also started looking into augmented reality to create a smoother customer experience. Air New Zealand, for example, announced earlier this year that flight attendants were collaborating with Dimension Data and the Microsoft HoloLens headset to be able to see customer information like their preferred meal and drink choice.

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SATS will begin rolling out the glasses at the airport in phases, as there are close to 600 staff members who will need to undergo training. The provider plans to have ground staff fully equipped by the middle of next year. 

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