Public health measures introduced during the pandemic risk worsening the bottlenecks in ground operations processes that were already a challenge in the pre-COVID era. New technologies offer ways to alleviate these operational constraints, and the powerful features provided by a 5G network can enable greater efficiency.
In our new report 5G for Airport Operations, we assess the potential value of 5G for airport operations and describe smart airport initiatives already underway around the world.
We have identified more than 20 use cases that tackle both current COVID-related issues and historical operational constraints in the industry, covering three main areas:
- Hygiene control and passenger process
- Ramp operations
The 5G use cases range from real-time and accurate geolocation of ground support equipment (GSE) and predictive maintenance empowered by unlimited Internet of Things (IoT) capacity, to facial recognition for a fully digital process and AI-assisted computer vision.
In 5G for Airport Operations, we reveal analysis suggesting that 20% of flight delays are addressable through the implementation of 5G, generating significant OPEX savings for airports and airlines. Moreover, 5G is clearly a strategic lever for passenger satisfaction.
Early adoption of 5G will be a key success factor for the industry in the next decade. Experimentation is a good starting point. It can highlight the use cases for ultra-low latency, enhanced broadband and massive IoT using 5G features that interconnect with existing technologies.
There is no single path to 5G implementation. It can be achieved via a full private solution with a network equipment provider, or through a hybrid solution with a mobile network operator (MNO). In either case, IT capabilities must be strengthened to ensure successful 5G adoption.
In an industry hit hard by the global pandemic, 5G offers huge potential to rebuild operational excellence in the coming years.