Contactless technologies come to passengers at Clark International Airport

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Clark International Airport (CRK) is located in the central and northern region of Luzon in the Philippines and is becoming a hub for commercial, economic and leisure activities. The new passenger terminal is expected to help accelerate business growth and promote tourism activities in the region.

Terminal 2 has redesigned the passenger experience and process in a way that enhances a passenger’s journey. Various changes have been made to how the airport operates and how passengers travel.

Andrew Tan, Director and Head of Operations at Changi Airports International (CAI), the operator of CRK, said: “A smooth, seamless and stress-free passenger journey is the hallmark of the Changi experience. In elevating CRK’s new terminal to international standards, CAI and the local airport team, Luzon International Premier Airport Development Corporation, have worked together to review and enhance the range of airport services.

By studying passenger profiles, CAI found that passengers sometimes arrived from distant provinces by bus and could arrive up to 6 hours in advance for their flight. The new 24/7 self-service check-in and baggage drop facilities will save these passengers from having to wait for check-in counters to open.

Passengers can use their phone to scan a QR code, which will allow them to check in contactlessly. This includes printing boarding passes and baggage tags. For the convenience of passengers, automatic self-service baggage drop-offs have also been installed, in order to avoid queues at traditional counters.

The integrated security screening will also help streamline airport processes, while the baggage handling system will reduce passenger processing time. An automated tray return system will also reduce waiting times at pre-flight security checks.

Another first for the airport is its contactless food and drink ordering system in restaurants and lounges. Purchases can be made via QR codes and delivered to passengers.

“All of these technologies help reduce travel friction and give passengers more downtime to enjoy other services the airport has to offer, such as retail, food and beverage, airport lounges, or just to take in the beautiful mountain views from the gates,” says Tan.

The new terminal will include a lounge dedicated to Filipino workers overseas and a heroes lounge for military and police veterans, as well as serving members of the armed forces. In addition, there will be an integrated VIP terminal.

New operations

A new concept, called the Airport Operations Control Center, has been implemented at the airport. This includes the co-location of different departments and stakeholders and common systems. It also enables shared platforms for gathering and sharing information, such as common video walls, which allow different parties to see the same information in real time.

Tan says, “So from just being a base of operations, it becomes a centralized hub for planning, process coordination, and ultimately faster decision-making.”

This system will improve resource allocation and ensure rapid response to disruptions.

CAI uses the people, process and technology framework for operational planning. “People” refers to airport stakeholders including airlines, ground handling and government agencies. In preparation for the new terminal, the “place” was added to the framework. This relates to facility readiness and CAI’s role as a consultant.

Online workshops were first used to introduce the new facilities and processes at the airport. Moving away from working remotely, it is possible to conduct exercises in the field, addressing stakeholder concerns. Additionally, airlines and ground handlers can familiarize themselves with check-in facilities and processes.

“The terminal will also revolutionize the way the world experiences the Philippines with new technologies and commercial offerings never before seen in the country that meet passenger needs,” Tan said.

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