COVID-19 and Today’s International Airports

COVID-19 has changed the flight industry upside down. We were excited as we just thought about traveling overseas but now it feels scary to go abroad for the concern of infectious disease; the airports that were once crowded with travelers are now empty with silence — how do airports around the world respond to the unprecedented crisis?

Amsterdam Schiphol Airport Invests in Future Transportation

Source: HARDT (www.hardt.global)

Despite the crisis in the flight industry, the Schiphol Airport located in Amsterdam, Netherlands is investing in future technology for innovation and sustainability. What is the future technology in which the Schiphol Airport is investing?

It is the hyperloop system, a future transportation. The hyperloop train is an ultrahigh-speed train based on magnetic levitation that runs through an air-removed, pressurized capsule. Its speed can reach up to 1,200 km per hour because of the low air and railway resistance. The advantages of the hyperloop system are high capacity, low energy consumption, and high speed. It can even run from Amsterdam to Paris in only 90 minutes!

The Schiphol Airport has plans to substitute short-haul flights with hyperloop and more concentrate on the smooth operation of long-haul flights!

Frankfurt Airport in Germany Focuses on Using Renewable Energy

Source: Fraport (www.fraport.com)

Fraport, the operator of the Frankfurt Airport in Germany, is also making efforts despite the COVID-19 crisis. Using renewable energy for preventing climate change is the area in which the Frankfurt Airport is endeavoring.

Frankfurt Airport has plans to use renewable energy for the most part of energy consumption at the airport by 2030. If this plan is realized, the volume of carbon dioxide emission will be dramatically reduced from 170,000 tons a year to 80,000 tons a year.

Wind power generation will be the main generator of electricity. Also, the airport itself is making efforts to produce electricity through the solar photovoltaic power system, which will generate over 1.5 million kWh per year. With 1.5 million kWh, you can supply 450 four-person households per year. Enormous volume, right?

Incheon Airport Introduces Smart IT Disinfection Service

Incheon Airport is showing outstanding achievement in the area of disinfection. It has completed a carefully controled disinfection system under the slogan of “COVID-19 Free Airport” from the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak, and it is stepping forward to settle the Smart Disinfection Service.

First, the Incheon Airport preemptively established the three-step temperature check and the separation of entrants’ traffic. As for the passengers who leave the airport, they should have their temperature checked in three steps: entering the terminal → on the departure floor → at the boarding gate. As for the passengers who arrive at the airport, a parking ramp was assigned for each flight and the passengers were guided to the exclusive arrivals hall in order to separate the traffic of the entrants to prevent the spread of the infectious disease. This excellent disinfection system of the Incheon Airport earned the Airport Health Accreditation from the Airports Council International (ACI), first as an airport in the Asia-Pacific region, and was globally acknowledged.

The Incheon Airport has attracted global attention through its Smart Disinfection System, which combines disinfection with IT technology. The representative service is the fever check service using robots and kiosks. When the robot detects the fever, it shows the designated screening centers nearby and the contact address of the airlines and let the traveler know what process he or she should follow. The kiosk checks the body temperature of up to 30 visitors passing by and produces a beeping sound when it detects a fever. Besides, the Incheon Airport will extend its smart disinfection service by introducing automatic robots to detect whether the passengers are wearing a face mask and developing optimized AI disinfection robots for the Incheon Airport.

What do you think about the efforts made by the international airports after COVID-19? We have witnessed that each airport is responding to the crisis in different ways — investing in future transportation, trying to use more renewable energy, and focusing on disinfection. They are all different, but all airports around the world hope the same that the COVID-19 crisis will be over as soon as possible and they could be full of travelers with a tremor of excitement.

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