The world's top airports spent 3.2% of their revenue on investment in software and hardware in 2008, a survey by aviation technology specialist SITA has found.
The figure is a decline of 0.3% on the previous year but is likely to be reversed considerably in 2010 as airports begin to invest heavily in passenger self check-in booths, RFID scanners and automated baggage drop zones.
Technology is expected to become an integral part of airport owner investment and development over the next three years, with a number of key areas taking the lion's share of activity.
The survey was taken by 106 airport and airport groups around the world, representing 56 of the top 100 premises by revenue and passenger numbers.
The following stats indicate the number of airports with tech-led facilities:
Common bag-drop locations - 12% today to 48% by 2012
Automated boarding gates - 8 % today to 42% by 2012
Self-service kiosk for passenger transfer services - 11% today to 39 % by 2012
Self service kiosk to report lost baggage - 5% today to 36% by 2012
- Common bag-drop locations - 12% today to 48% by 2012
- Automated boarding gates - 8% today to 42% by 2012
- Self-service kiosk for passenger transfer services - 11% today to 39 % by 2012
- Self service kiosk to report lost baggage - 5% today to 36% by 2012
SITA estimates the global airport technology industry is worth around $3 billion a year, and could grow significantly in the coming years as result of security and passenger requirements as well as ways of making the much-maligned airport experience more efficient.
Nearly half of the airports surveyed say they will be increasing their IT investment budget in 2010, with only 14% admitting to a decrease in spend.