Africa perfectly suited to wave of airport technologies

Adonis Succar, head of business development at SITA, interviewed by Humphrey Odhiambo, Managing editor, CIO EA Magazine

As the world adapts to the rapid influx of technology in every sector, the Kenyan airport sector is striving to make considerable strides in localizing the technology, and allowing it to become part of the airports everyday norm. With the advent of biometrics and AI gaining traction in various airports around the world, it would only be a matter of time, before it makes an appearance in the Kenyan airport technology infrastructure.

Speaking to Mr. Adonis Succar, the head of business development at SITA, he outlined that Kenya, and Africa as a whole, is perfectly capable of utilizing these technologies for the greater impact, and that the capacity of implementing these technologies is way below what the technology infrastructure of the country is capable of. “Focusing on Africa, these young people have smart phones, and they are eager with entrepreneurial thinking. And they are very well educated, and they know what’s going on. It’s unfair to judge the African market as not ready for this technology. They are more ready than anybody else.”

He then went on to declare that Africa is more than ready for these technologies, and that the only thing holding the technologies back, is the fear of investment in those solutions. Alluding to the fact that, for the advent of these technologies to begin having an impact locally, the initial step of learning and understanding, before implementing must be made.  “The way I see it, AI and biometrics are right at home in the African context. I think what they are afraid of, is the investment in those kind of solutions. The point is, maybe they are afraid of the adoption rate of these kind of technologies. It’s unfair to judge the African market as not ready for this technology. They are more ready than anybody else.”

Biometrics, AI and predictive analysis being major players in the shift towards better operating airports. The enormous positives this would bring about far outnumber the negatives, which predominantly revolve around hesitation about expenses. Through the adaption of technology, the airports would have better organized and managed records, no need for repetitive tasks such as constant scanning of boarding passes and the detection of possible fraud amongst others.

Despite the costs of building and maintenance, the utilisation of these resources that technology provides would enable a cleaner, and more seamless interface of digital airports, equipped to serve the digital traveler.

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