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How Changi Airport delivers exceptional traveller experience

Nurdianah Md Nur
Nurdianah Md Nur11/7/2022 11:55 AM GMT+08  • 3 min read
How Changi Airport delivers exceptional traveller experience
A driverless baggage tractor waiting for luggage to be loaded into the unit loading devices before transporting them to their departure flight. Photo: Changi Airport Group
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It is no secret that Singapore Changi Airport is one of the best airports in the world, priding itself in continually putting its customers first.

To further enhance the traveller experience, the Changi Airport Group (CAG) has expanded its partnership with Accenture, which began in 2019 by establishing a digital factory known as DIVA — for digital innovation, ventures and analytics.

The expanded collaboration will see the two organisations take advantage of innovative technologies — such as extended reality, machine learning, IoT and edge computing — to enable Changi Airport to seamlessly engage travellers from before they arrive to after they leave. There will also be knowledge and skills transfer to the CAG team.

“In this next phase of our digital transformation journey, how we deliver the unique Changi experience, whether offline or online, to our customers remains key,” says Hung Jean, group senior vice president for enterprise digital ecosystem and business at CAG.

She adds: “Our vision is to build deeper relationships with our customers and strive to serve them better through innovative and interactive digital solutions. We are happy to extend our collaboration with Accenture, which has proven to be a valuable partner with the ability to combine innovative design capabilities with technology and industry expertise.”

CAG and Accenture will also jointly design and roll out new digital products across Changi Airport. This will include, among other things, a new loyalty platform that will enable customers to earn points for both spending and travelling, redeem loyalty points across channels in one place and provide more redemption choices.

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By integrating data from various sources, the platform will provide customer insights to enable CAG to provide customers with highly personalised communications, experiences and offers.

CAG is also shortening the check-in process by offering self-service options. Travellers can use the Fast and Seamless Travel system at Changi Airport to complete the check-in process by themselves and use the bag drop and automated immigration clearance to complete the entire departure process faster than going through staffed check-in counters.

The group is also continuously transforming its back-end operations. For instance, it has been experimenting with driverless tractors to transfer baggage between aircraft and the baggage handling area.

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In October 2020, CAG embarked on a trial for the driverless baggage tractor — which can tow up to 6,000kg of baggage, the same load as a traditionally driven tractor — before testing it in a live operational environment in Terminal 3. Although programmed autonomously during the trial, a safety operator was deployed in the tractor as a precaution.

In August 2021, CAG partnered with the Singapore Airport Terminal Service (SATS) to trial driverless baggage tractors on live flights with the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) support.

Observations from those trials will help Changi Airport refine its thinking on the self-driving vehicle technology, infrastructure requirements and other enablers required to support automated vehicle movement.

The group envisions the airside to be managed by skilled workers, augmented by driverless vehicles delivering seamless operations. It believes that such productivity improvement and upgrading of airside roles will be crucial in enabling Changi Airport to continue growing its air hub.

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