In today’s fast paced world, the only way to stay ahead of the game is by constantly adapting to technological advancements. This is precisely what Changi Airport officials have decided to do. They are hoping to increase productivity and efficiency by bringing in better technology like smart vehicles and wheelchairs, to facilitate quicker movement around the place.
The Previous Scenario
As is the case in many places, prior to this, passengers who could not walk about had to wheel themselves around or get others to push them from place to place. Now, airport officials are looking to change this and make the process less cumbersome by introducing smart wheelchairs.
Particularly during peak hours, this demand for personnel to cater to passengers with wheelchairs causes a bit of a hassle as it involves moving away from other tasks.
How is this technology expected to improve functioning?
With smart wheelchairs, the hassle of pushing someone around the place will cease to exist. By simply pressing a button on the smart chair, its sensors will get activated and it will automatically begin following the staff member that pressed the button, without the person in the wheelchair doing a thing. In addition, other smart wheelchairs can be programmed to follow this first wheelchair, as well.
The officials at the airport certainly want to make the best use of technology to improve functioning, which is why they have also begun testing smart vehicles that would function in a similar manner. These vehicles could be used to transport food and any other essentials in a quicker manner.
That’s not all – about thirteen tech-based exhibits were unveiled during the TechnIC@SATS exhibition that took place at Changi Airport on May 24.
What did the exhibition bring to the fore?
To start with, ground handling and catering service provider, SATS, decided to invest $110 million to further technological innovations for the airport. They then went on to rebrand the SATS Technology Innovation Center, which first came about in August 2014, to TechnIC@SATS.
Mr. Ng Chee Meng, Minister for Education and Second Transport Minister, stated that the use of technology will enable the airport to have better command over processes that are too intensive for people, thereby improving efficiency and productivity.
Getting behind the technology
SATS got into an agreement with Cyclect and ST Dynamics to come up with wheelchairs that a single staff member could transport. The technology used for these is similar to that used by an automatic guided vehicle, known as Dolly, which is capable of transporting up to three trolleys of food, at the same time.
SATS’ Assistant Vice-President of Technology, Donald Lum, stated that these jobs were quite difficult and also resulted in injuries. With the new advancements, an airport staff can push a small trolley and the larger trolleys that weigh 150 to 200 kg can follow behind it, without any hassle.
These high-tech innovations were supported by the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore along with the Singapore Economic Development Board, both of whom did not back away from providing funds for the same.
Changi Airport is keen on keeping up with technological innovations because better services can lead to better functioning, an improved travel experience, and better connectivity, all of which can help them stay ahead of the game.