Global Observer

Technology taking off at Parisian airports

Technology taking off at Parisian airports

Posting in Technology

PARIS -- Digital advertising and touch screen info panels give Parisian airports a long-needed modern feel

PARIS Luminous high tech advertising and new touch screen information panels will welcome travelers this holiday season when flying in and out of Paris. Both major Parisian airports will be undergoing some technological facelifts over the next few months in an effort to modernize and streamline passengers’ experiences before takeoff.

Paris is the busiest air traffic hub in Europe behind London, servicing over 83 passengers between its two major airports in 2010. The major international airport, Charles de Gaulle, opened in 1974, has been undergoing renovations since 2007 to welcome the ever-increasing number of travelers.

While work on its terminals continues, Charles de Gaulle is stepping into the digital age in new ways as it pairs up with major advertising company JCDecaux to digitalize the airport experience even more. A team of 36 technicians will be working to install new advertising panels throughout the terminals, reducing the 1500 existing non-digital boards with 200 double faced digital screens. JCDecaux will also install a giant 39m2 (420ft2) fresco screen, the first in a European airport.

These and other ostensibly eye-catching features should add another dimension to the airport experience, according to Adeline Lauvernay, communications chief at JCDecaux. “The digitalization of the advertising in the airports constitutes the most innovative and interesting change,” she said.

Shopping in the airports, just in time for the holidays, will also be revamped by the addition of real-time messages and new Lightboxes, like those in London’s Heathrow Airport (seen here). With more than 58 million travelers having passed through Charles de Gaull in 2010, JCDecaux hopes to personalize and streamline advertising and shopping for this enormous market.

“By offering modern, interactive and engaging advertsing media space, we are helping to define the airport of the future,” Chariman of JCDecaux Airports François Rubichon said in the press release issued this month. Work on the digitalization will begin in November and should be completed by early January 2012 in Charles de Gaulle.

At the Orly airport, Paris’ second most important hub, tactile information screens are being installed for a trial run. Similar screens exist in many other airports, including Barcelona and Dallas/Fort Worth in the US.

Essentially a giant iPad, the screens have a scanner to read your boarding pass and will offer you a 3D explanation of how to arrive at the desired terminal. The screens also offer information about shopping, restaurants, and other airport services.

More prototype screens will soon be added to the Orly-Sud terminal as well as in Charles de Gaulle terminal 2E. These additions, if successful, will be installed on a larger scale later in 2012.

Photo: www.lactuparetudiant.com

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Bryan Pirolli

Correspondent (Paris)

Bryan Pirolli has worked for Conde Nast and Travel+Leisure and has written for EuroCheapo.com and Concierge.com. He holds a degree from New York University and is currently studying at the Sorbonne. He is based in Paris, France. Follow him on Twitter. Disclosure