Technology to add efficiency to your airport facility

Airports make money from four distinct areas of concrete:

  • Runways, which generate landing fees
  • Concession space, which generates leasing fees
  • Roadways, which generate ground transportation fees; and finally
  • Carparks, which generate parking fees.

At some of the world’s largest airports, parking revenues are nearly equal to landing fee revenues, and in some cases may exceed the landing fees. Generating these sizable revenues (up to AUD $150m in 2019 per airport) requires moving thousands of vehicles daily, in a smooth operatic dance that almost never stops.

Creating efficiency at this scale takes knowledgeable staff and a willingness to evaluate and deploy technology – such as these key systems that help speed customers to and from their flights.

Key technology for airport carparks

Major toll roads often use RFID vehicle transponders, which are now also being used  for airport entry gates. Cars approach and the gate goes up immediately, without the need for drivers to take a ticket. They can also exit just as fast, and the entire revenue generation cycle will have been completed without a ticket being pulled or a window being lowered.

Implementing license plate cameras (LPR or ANPR) supports rapid remote lost ticket resolution, among other features. Upon exit, LPR recognises that the driver has paid their parking fee and quickly raises the gate.

An online reservation system means passengers can scan the reservation barcode on their phone upon entry and exit, and only pay extra if they have overstayed the reservation period. Many online reservation systems are tied to customer loyalty programs, allowing the airport to be more competitive compared to off-airport parking.

Using a credit card upon entry and exit (CCIO or credit card in/out) means drivers don’t have to worry about finding a misplaced ticket. It also reduces the airport’s paper consumable usage.

Parking guidance systems (PGS) significantly increase the opportunity to find an open space quickly, thereby reducing the stress of finding parking in large parking areas. Parking guidance systems use a variety of sensors to perform their function, such as radar, optical cameras, and more. These sensing technologies are increasingly manufactured directly into lighting, adding capability while reducing infrastructure.

Most new Pay-on-Foot (POF) devices have larger screens, which provide a number of capabilities and benefits to both drivers and airports. For airports, portions of these screens can be used for advertising for additional revenue or for other airport information. For parkers, these displays might show current local weather or local road conditions. The airport could provide a discount if the boarding pass 1D barcode is scanned during payment. Finally, when integrated with a PGS or LPI system, these POF devices can provide a ‘find my car’ function, eliminating the need for a separate ‘find my car’ kiosk.

License plate inventory (LPI) systems can be used during slow times to provide inventory and location information. Capturing the license plate information can either be performed with a handheld device or mounted on a vehicle, if the number of spaces warrants the additional investment. While LPI do not assist in finding an open space in real-time like a PGS, they can provide location inputs to a POF, for the ‘find my car’ search function.

There are number of mobile payment options that mean drivers never need to pay at a POF or exit terminal, but can simply pay from the comfort of their vehicle. Some of these apps are provided by third parties, while others are offered by the PARC system provider. When coupled with LPR, the exit is expedited.

In entry and exit terminals, pinhole cameras allow customer service agents to see the patron who has pressed the intercom button. With the addition of a web camera in front of the customer service rep, a real-time face-to-face interaction can take place. This has been shown to increase customer satisfaction when dealing with an issue. Additionally, the customer service agent can not only see the patron, but they can simultaneously see what the patron is seeing on the entry/exit device, so that misunderstandings are reduced and calls shortened. For after-hours support, there is technology that allows the customer support function to move from on-site to a centralised location, which provides personalised support from a third party.

As we see an increase in electric vehicles and their associated charging stations, airports have the option of doing nothing and permitting the free use of the charging station, or they can connect the charging stations to the revenue control system (PARCS). This means they can either add a fee for the usage of the station, or provide a parking discount for using the station.

The beauty of these technologies is that they can be added incrementally, most times directly integrated with the PARC system. This allows the airport to implement new capability in a deliberate, step-wise fashion as their budget and operations require. Each one adds efficiency to the airport and creates an improved consumer experience for the parking patron.

Get more information about improving parking revenue for airports

To discuss your facility and find out how revenue can be maximised as we return to the skies, get in touch with a Parcsafe technical consultant today on 1300 987 645  or contact us online.