Materna IPS met up with customers and partners for their 9th Aviation Forum

In the middle of November, we were delighted to welcome more than 100 representatives from airports and airlines from all over the world. The venue for the annual Materna Aviation Forum this year was the Rheinterrassen in Dusseldorf where, in the friendly atmosphere of this event, our customers and partners took the opportunity to discuss the latest topics and trends and to find out about projects and solutions.

In his welcoming speech, Dr. Georg Oschmann, Executive Vice President of Materna IPS, presented a review of the 2019 business year and thanked all the customers and partners for the good work they have carried out together.

Many of the participants have been taking part in the Materna Aviation Forum for many years and appreciate the event as the ideal framework to do some networking. This year we were also very pleased to have so many visitors from Japan including from our new partner Toyo Kanetsu. The installation of automated baggage handling systems at the Japanese airports of Chubu and Tokyo Haneda, Japan’s most significant and attractive airport, is one of our most future-oriented customer projects.

Review Aviation forum 2019

Best Practice Airport Hamburg

Our customer Hamburg Airport delivered a fascinating talk at the forum: this year, together with us, Hamburg Airport has extended its self bag drop facility and is now the leading airport in Germany in this field with a total of twenty bag drop kiosks. One of their aims was to increase the existing passenger handling capacity in spite of the limited space that was available by implementing common use self services. Currently the kiosks at Hamburg Airport are shared by the airlines easyJet, Eurowings, AirFrance/KLM and SAS.

Passengers who have become familiar with this technology only need between 30 to 60 seconds for the process, which means peak passenger handling times are being reduced successfully and that the process has been designed to be convenient and efficient for everyone. Mirjam Fröhlich, Head of Passenger and Baggage Management at Hamburg Airport, presented this success story, spoke about the challenges of the project and shared the airport’s experience with the participants in the forum.

Focus on RFID and biometrics

RFID-technology can prevent baggage getting lost in the first place but also help to find baggage again quickly if it does get lost. In the partner exhibition at the forum, among many other things, participants could find out just how this works. One of our partners also showcased clearly how several sensors log the flight and passenger data on baggage labels and how an additional camera records the physical condition of each piece of baggage. Experience with practical applications, the relevant IATA regulations and how this RFID technology is implemented were all described in a customer presentation and a Hot Topic Workshop.

Biometrics in particular is becoming more and more significant in the aviation sector and it was also the topic of another workshop and several presentations. Speakers and delegates illustrated different areas of application for biometrics and looked into investigations such as how the Star Alliance association helps airlines to deploy biometrics and the challenges faced when implementing biometric identification at US airports in particular.

Augmented reality and artificial intelligence in aviation logistics

Dr. Harald Sieke, Vice President Aviation Logistics at the Fraunhofer Institute, reported on a future concept concerning how baggage handling processes work behind the scenes. The Fraunhofer Institute is currently investigating how artificial intelligence can be utilized in baggage handling logistics at airports. The institute will be developing a packing robot to support baggage handling processes after bags have been dropped off. Pieces of baggage will be automatically scanned and artificial intelligence will then work out which the most effective position to place them on a pallet is and then display it using augmented reality. This will enable fully automated robots to relieve logistics staff of this physically demanding task.

In addition to all these fascinating specialist topics, there were also some interesting insights into the all-encompassing topic of digitization in a refreshing presentation given by Dr. Sascha Friesike from the Weizenbaum Institute. Nowadays, in the jungle of hyped technologies and tools, it is more important than ever to occasionally take a step back and view everything from a different perspective so as not to lose sight of the real benefits.

We are very pleased to be part of the exciting developments in the aviation sector with our passenger solutions and, together with our customers and partners, to continue our work on forward-looking topics at airports and airlines. We would like to say a big thank you to all the participants at the Materna Aviation Forum 2019!

You can find more impressions of the Materna Aviation Forum here