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Guest column by Hong Kong International Airport

Picture of Chris Au Young

Chris Au Young

Smart Airport - ‎Airport Authority Hong Kong / General Manager


Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) is striving to become a smart airport by leveraging different smart technologies.  Our overall objective is to create a smooth, hassle-free passenger experience.

Looking ahead, we will continue to propel HKIA towards new horizons through innovative applications of technology.

Deploying automation and mobile technologies is a key part of the Hong Kong Airport Authority’s (AA) smart airport strategy. For example, the self-service bag drop counter, introduced in 2016, enables passengers to check in baggage by themselves and save up to half of the processing time compared to queuing at conventional check-in counters. To further enhance the service, 120 cloud-based moveable self check-in kiosks (iCUSS) will be introduced at HKIA, adding mobility and a one-stop experience for check-in at flexible locations in the terminals. With iCUSS, travellers can simply scan their passports without having to enter flight information. The kiosk will issue a boarding pass and a baggage tag after passengers choose their flight seat and enter the number of check-in baggage items. They may then leave their checked baggage at the self-service bag drop counter after attaching the baggage tags. The AA is also planning to introduce the iCUSS service to locations outside the airport, such as theme parks, convention and exhibition venues and hotels.

The ‘HKG MyFlight’ mobile app plays a pivotal role in the delivery of smart airport services at HKIA.  The app provides comprehensive information about airport services for passengers, including real-time flight information, notifications of status updates of saved flights, maps, public transport information, a shopping and dining guide and more. Recently, some 10,000 iBeacon transmitters have been installed in the terminals, enabling the sending of directional advice and boarding alerts to passengers’ mobile phones and other Bluetooth-enabled handheld devices via the upgraded “MyFlight” app. In addition, the AR Wayfinding function displays real-time images inside the terminals and helps travellers navigate the terminals using augmented reality AR technology. Soon AR signage in multiple languages, such as Chinese, English, Japanese and Korean, will be launched to assist more international travellers from different countries. Since mid-December 2017 travellers can reserve a parking space at HKIA for three to 30 days via the HKIA website or “MyFlight” before heading to the airport.

Meanwhile, the AA has recently launched a smart luggage tag, “MyTag”, with a view to further enhancing the traveller experience at the airport. After pairing “MyTag” with “MyFlight”, passengers arriving at HKIA will receive notification when their checked bags are about to appear at the baggage reclaim carousel. With “MyTag”, travellers may relax and enjoy the airport’s services more, rather than waiting at the carousel for their bags to arrive.

Biometric technology promises a seamless departure experience. With facial recognition technology, passengers will only have to present their passports once before entering the restricted areas for departure. The streamlined procedure enabled by facial recognition technology is expected to roll out in phases from the second quarter of 2018 onwards.

Meanwhile, in the backroom, the AA is utilising big data intelligence for predictive maintenance of major systems such as the baggage system and the Automated People Mover, so as to ensure smooth operations and delivery of service to passengers.

Looking ahead, we will continue to propel HKIA towards new horizons through innovative applications of technology.



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