LONDON - For most holidaymakers a crowded airport with lengthy queues and delays is one of the most maddening places on earth. But this fascinating concept aims to take the stress out of getaways thanks to cutting-edge technology that will bring an end to queues and get travellers from kerb to gate in record time.
It features everything from automated check-in desks and biometric plane tickets to virtual assistants and speedy molecular body scanners at security checkpoints.
These renderings reveal the vision of designers who set out to predict what an international airport could look like in 25 years using advanced technology that is on the cusp of a breakthrough. The concept, produced by Airport Parking and Hotels, suggests that the check-in process will become "an automated doddle" by the year 2040.
It predicts staffed check-in and bag drop desks will be phased out and replaced with self-service kiosks. Passengers won't have to fumble with multiple documents because they receive a biometric token that serves as their passport, boarding pass and ID for the journey.
The token will contain biometric identifiers that are unique to each passengers, including iris patterns. Security checkpoints are a bottleneck at airports, but the concept suggests metal detectors and bag inspections will one day be a thing of the past.
It predicts laser molecular body scanners, originally designed for medical use, will be used to detect bombs or banned items hidden in clothing or luggage.
The technology is effective from several metres away and allows people to simply walk past a scanner instead of joining a queue.
After landing passengers won't have to wait around at a baggage carousel - chips embedded in their suitcases or luggage tags will send an alert to their smartphones when they're ready to be collected.
Inside the terminal travellers will be able to purchase duty free goods from touchscreen walls or seek advice from a virtual assistant that can speak a number of languages.
"Airports are all too often a trying experience and one of the worst aspects of jetting off on holiday. What the future of airports project shows is that, in a few years, technological advances will enable airports to create a much more pleasant experience and work around the issues that they currently face," Beverley Barden, head of marketing at APH, said.
"Through this research and the models we have created, we are able to predict what the airport experience could realistically be like in the near future, and it’s going to be very exciting to see it take shape," he added.