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Smart airports are projected to be worth $25bn by 2025. Many smart innovations are emerging in the field at the top of the industry’s priorities: security. Electronic bag tags are becoming more popular among passengers, for instance. Automated systems, meanwhile, analyse video surveillance footage to identify suspicious events such as unattended bags and enhance the efficiency of data analysis through deep-learning algorithms.

Software can spot and verify security problems more quickly than human staff, reducing the risk of airport closures that can cost tens of thousands of pounds per minute. In what is believed to be a first for a UK airport, a remote monitoring system based on high definition video cameras is to replace the physical control tower at London City Airport.

According to, the cameras will combine to provide a full 360-degree view of the airfield. While security is an overwhelming priority for airports given the terror threat, many security innovations have the added benefit of boosting operational efficiency too. Patterns in the movement of passengers through the airport can be identified to generate insights that help authorities open or close check-in desks in order to manage bottlenecks.

ThruVis, a thermal camera that detects both metallic and non-metallic objects concealed under clothing such as weapons or drugs, can speed up passenger screening. Developed by Digital Barriers, the cameras managed to screen 50 people every three minutes at a recent music event in London.

Out on the runway, aircraft can be geo-located and coordinated using real-time landing information.In the US and other developed markets, automated parking facilities which make use of (Automatic Number Plate Recognition) ANPR systems, are becoming more widespread.