Trending in Aviation:

Bringing the outdoors Inside. Passengers with long layovers can now take advantage of the green spaces and walking tracks that airports have begun to introduce. Serene gardens and glass facades that bring in the natural light enhance travelers’ airport experience and reduce stress levels.

Adding local flavor. Regional chefs whip up culinary masterpieces using local ingredients giving travelers a taste of the city they’re visiting. Passengers can learn about cultural experiences of the region by attending demonstrations, exhibits and performances.

Automated everything. Airports are increasingly taking advantage of technology, offering passengers the opportunity to check in, scan passports, and even board airplanes at high-tech kiosks.

There’s an app for that. Passengers are using smart phones to purchase, confirm, and navigate travel plans in real-time. Savvy airports are capitalizing on this trend, using smart phone technology to connect with their passengers, streamline procedures, and make the travel experience more enjoyable.

Self-serve shops for everything from phone chargers to lip gloss.  Travelers can now purchase technology accessories, e-readers, cosmetics, and other travel luxuries at easy-to-use terminal vending machines.

Extra attention for “gate huggers.” Gateside amenities in the form of retail kiosks and vending carts allow passengers to recharge and refuel while keeping an ear out for boarding call. 

Touchdown spaces for business travelers. Making life easier for those who travel for a living, airports are increasingly providing work surfaces with power outlets. These mobile office spaces  boost productivity for business travelers on the go.

Food truck flair. Airports have not missed out on the food truck trend; passengers at many airports can grab a fast, fun, and local gourmet meal on the go.

Idle in style.  Many airports are now offering service plazas just outside of the airport geared towards those picking up arriving passengers. These “cellphone lots” may feature play areas, Wi-Fi in the parking lot, services such as gas or auto detailing, and flight display monitors.

Upscale security checkpoints. Clearing airport security does not have to be an unpleasant experience. Many airports are providing lounge-like, high-style security spaces which offer comfortable couches, soothing music, and re-composure areas complete with mirrors.

On-the-spot feedback.  Immediate feedback mechanisms, such as “Happy or Not” buttons adjacent to check-in gates, provide passengers instant gratification for delivering compliments or complaints.

Trending in Transportation:

Going green.  Parking facilities are going green.  Strategies for making transportation more sustainable and efficient include recycling systems, rainwater harvesting, using local and recycled materials in construction, high efficiency LED lighting, and reducing power consumption through timers, photocell receptors, motion detectors, and daylighting. Operators are also reducing energy usage with renewable energy technology such as photovoltaic cells, wind power, bio-fuels and hydrogen fuel cells.

Use of mobile apps. Smart phone technology and a profusion of new travel apps allow customers to locate available parking, reserve a spot ahead of time, pay before exiting, and find lost cars in a sea of automobiles, even with jetlag.

Improved traffic management. Avoiding the common frustration of circling the parking aisles searching for an open space, many decks now use wireless sensing devices to register and display space availability, with a “red light/green light” system or mapping devices to indicate available parking.

Parking Access Control. Parking operations requiring secure access, such as airports, hospitals, and military bases, frequently use license plate recognition (LPR) to monitor plates, capture data, and confirm authorized access to facilities.

E-payment. Parking payment has gone high-tech. Instead of cash payment, many parking operations encourage credit cards or smart phone-based e-payment accounts. These payment methods facilitate easy exiting while lowering operating costs.

Power while you park. Recharging stations for electric vehicles in parking decks are becoming a common sight; frequent users may pay through an established account, while one-time users may
pay electronically per visit.

Safety first, safety second. To provide extra security measures for customers, many decks feature blue light emergency phones, enhanced lighting levels, painted ceilings to increase lighting reflectivity, reduction of walls to eliminate potential hiding places, and transparent elevator cores.

On-site amenities. Catering to commuters on the go, many parking decks are offering onsite amenities such as dry cleaning, pet boarding, and coffee shops may be incorporated into the parking structures. In addition to traveler convenience, these services can be valuable revenue-generators for owners.