The airport of 2025

See the technology that will change the way you fly in 2025

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Security check
Waiting for the plane
Getting to the gate
Today, remote check-in is popular, but by 2025 it is expected to be universal. A shift to using biometrics such as face scans for a boarding pass could mean far less queuing. Click 'Future' to see tomorrow’s airport concepts.
Security checks often mean unpacking bags and partially undressing in public, but in the future medical-grade imaging systems will end those inconveniences, and better management of queues will process more passengers.
Being scrutinised by a border guard can raise anxiety. But after passengers register their biometrics, passing through immigration could be as simple as walking past a camera.
Airports profit from passenger waiting times by offering shopping and dining, but these may give way to more options increasing comfort and calm.
While bright yellow signs have been the standard in airports to get passengers to their gates, a variety of technologies, from robotic guides to augmented reality apps, could make that journey foolproof.
Biometrics could play a bigger part in getting passengers on board their planes, as automatic ID-scanning barriers might replace attendants at boarding gates.
Destination airports may also level up their baggage collection systems by replacing carousels with booths that alert passengers when their luggage arrives.
Boarding pass
Remote bag drop
Baggage tag
Unified check-in desk
Passengers will arrive checked in, and register their biometrics such as facial, iris and fingerprint scans as a boarding pass.
Baggage will be dropped off at a city train station or at various locations at the airport, such as in the car park.
Baggage will have scannable tags that provide tracking and owner security, linked to their owners’ biometrics.
For passengers who want to check in the traditional way, they will join the shortest queue for a single check-in desk covering all airlines.
Scanning machine
The queue
Personal items
Facial recognition
The room
Computerised tomography, often used in hospitals to give a 3D X-ray image, will let security staff see bag contents without having to remove laptops.
Faster queues could be achieved by letting more passengers load their bags into the scanners at once, removing them from the queue for metal detectors.
Better scanning technology would mean less fuss removing belts or shoes and unpacking bags.
Passenger ID will be checked without contact, using pre-registered biometrics.
Redesigned security check areas to become more homely and less sterile.
Biometrics check
Networked scanners
Border security
Pre-registered biometrics will mean automated immigration checks.
Automated gates may replace humans completely.
Most passengers would walk straight through these checks, and a small number of staff would be on hand in case of any abnormality.
Sleep pods
Quiet areas
Children’s playgrounds
Free movie screens
Silent, dark recliners may be placed around the airport allowing passengers to sleep while waiting.
Refuge from announcements and chatter from other passengers will become available.
Elaborate play equipment will keep children occupied while waiting.
Either wall-mounted or handheld screens will offer another diversion for waiting passengers.
Smartphone direction finder
Robot guide
Bluetooth beacons
Indoor GPS
Augmented reality apps may overlay arrow guides on live video, with passengers just pointing and walking.
Some airports already have robotic guides which lead passengers around the airport.
Bluetooth beacons will guide phones around the airport wirelessly, allowing apps to guide passengers.
Indoor GPS means popular mapping apps will work without a satellite signal.
Auto gate
Airline staff
The final biometric or boarding pass check will let passengers board their flight while also noting that they are leaving the airport.
This may be the first time passengers deal with a staff member when they are greeted at the door of the aeroplane.
Baggage booths
Smartphone alerts
Biometric scan
Baggage tag
Fast bag transporters
Passengers will retrieve their luggage from a secure booth using biometrics to open it.
Once bags are ready for pickup, owners will be alerted to go to a baggage booth.
Bag owners will be confirmed using biometrics matched to the luggage tag.
Baggage tags will hold ownership information securely, as well as display journey information.
Underground baggage systems will whisk luggage from aircraft to arrivals at up to 10 metres per second.