Total investments in IT at airports worldwide are estimated to reach $8.7bn this year, with primary focus on enhancing passenger comfort and airport security.
The IT investment has increased from 5.82% of revenues in 2014 to 6.25% this year, and is expected to increase further next year, according to the Airport IT Trends Survey.
Co-sponsored by Airports Council International (ACI) and SITA, in association with Airline Business, the survey covered respondents representing more than 223 airports.
Within the total IT investments, high priority has been accorded to passenger processing with nearly 73% of airports voting for it as against 59% last year.
Around 84% of the respondents see passenger and airport security as either a primary or secondary priority for IT investment, up from 76% in last year's survey.
SITA airport solutions vice-president Matthys Serfontein said: "Airport CIOs are committing their rising budgets to introduce technologies such as beacons, mobile services and increased self-service, to make it easier for passengers as the world's airports become increasingly busier.
"With 81% of airports investing in beacons and other sensors over the next three years, passengers can expect a more predictable journey through the airport as new features, such as wait times and walk times to the gate, become commonplace.
"The 'Internet of Things' is certainly coming to airports as they commit to serving the 'connected traveller' by investing in sensor technology."
According to the survey, 80% of airports will use beacons to provide way-finding services and 74% to provide notifications to passengers by 2018.
Nine out of ten airports are already providing self-check-in kiosks this year, while 91% are planning to provide an app for navigating the airport and 83% for real-time notifications about day-of-travel information such as local traffic or queue times in the terminal.
The check-in kiosks are being developed into multi-purpose with 42% of airports having kiosks that can print bag tags.
Half of the airports across the world have either assisted or unassisted bag drop points.
Image: According to the survey, IoT is certainly coming to the airports. Photo: courtesy of SITA.