Kansai Airports is renovating Kansai International Airport’s existing facilities and introducing new technology to enhance the passenger experience.
Kansai Airports – a consortium created by VINCI Airports and ORIX in 2015 – has launched the largest airport renovation project in the region for 50 years to boost the airport’s appeal and support Japan’s post-pandemic recovery.
The move is in line with VINCI Airports’ commitment to bringing the highest quality standards to its network of 45 airports across the globe.
Instead of building a new terminal, operator Kansai Airports, is improving the existing terminal and KIX’s operational efficiency by proactively introducing cutting-edge technologies in a bid to ensure a comfortable, stress-free travel experience for all passengers.
Kansai Airports is implementing its own Fast Travel initiative to streamline departure procedures and increase KIX’s processing capacity, ultimately allowing passengers more time to enjoy the terminal’s facilities before boarding.
On the fourth floor of Terminal 1, they have introduced self-check-in kiosks and self-service bag drop units alongside check-in counters to shorten passengers’ check-in time.
Furthermore, with an aim to direct passengers to less crowded security areas and improve the security processing capacity, the airport has enabled passengers to see the congestion level and estimated waiting time of each international security checkpoint on their website as well as on the departures floor.
This has been made possible with the Passenger Flow Management (PFM) system that uses sensors to recognise and count passengers in a queue and predicts the time required for security and passport clearance, factoring in the number of lanes used for security check
and other elements.
At the entrance of each security checkpoint, Kansai Airports has installed e-gates to automate the verification of boarding passes, which makes departure procedures even smoother. Previously, security personnel collected boarding passes from passengers and scanned them at the entrance of the international security area to ensure all passengers had valid tickets.
With the new gates, passengers can now self-scan their boarding pass to enter the security area. The introduction of the automated gates has expedited passenger processing and enabled smoother security screening.
At security checkpoints, Smart Lanes, the latest security screening machines, have been installed. They can check baggage of multiple passengers at a time, which allows passengers to go through the security screening more quickly than before.
KIX is also changing the layout of its international and domestic areas to better integrate international operations that are currently divided into north and south.
The new layout will increase the international departure area by 60% allowing it to introduce a walk-through duty-free area and many new shops and restaurants. It will also allow an extra five boarding gates to be used for international flights.