Airport Wait Times Set to Drop With New Technology, Arinc Says

Passengers will spend less time at airports in coming years as more efficient operators deploy advanced technology to reduce waiting, aviation services company Arinc Inc. said.

Arinc’s products targeted at improving the screening of passenger information and travel documents to improve the flow through terminals will help make travel “much less stressful,” said Michael DiGeorge, a Singapore-based managing director of the Asia-Pacific division for the Annapolis, Maryland-based company, which Rockwell Collins Inc. agreed last month to buy for $1.39 billion.

“The passenger is the one who’s going to have more control over that whole experience than they currently have,” DiGeorge said in a phone interview on Aug. 30. “That process of going from check-in through immigration through boarding is going to get more invisible.”

Wait times to clear customs and immigration at major U.S. airports regularly exceed targets, with travelers often waiting three hours or more, causing industry concerns that landing rights will be denied during peak congestion, Tony Tyler, chief executive officer of the International Air Transport Association, said in a speech in April.

Myanmar and Vietnam are among Asian nations planning to build new airports, while Singapore plans to build a new terminal that Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said last month is needed to respond to competition from regional airports such as those in Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur.

“Airports are going to be competing against each other,” DiGeorge said. “It’s the airports that can provide the best experience for the passenger, and get them from curbside to the gate the quickest, that is going to attract those passengers.”

— With assistance by Jason Folkmanis

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