LOT boss: Aviation sector must adopt new technology

The aviation sector needs to transform itself through new technologies in order to ensure a sustainable future for the industry, believes CEO of LOT Polish Airlines, Rafał Milczarski.

“As Poland’s flag carrier and the leading airline in CEE, we believe that European aviation needs significant transformation and we opt for an industry that is fair for all,” said Mr Milczarski during the International Air Transport Association (IATA) Global Airport and Passenger Symposium (GAPS) in Warsaw.

“For airlines to remain competitive and sustainable and to respond to growing passenger demand, it is crucial to implement solutions which will be based on cutting-edge technologies,” he continued. “Poland and LOT will play an important role in shaping the future of the aviation industry in Central and Eastern Europe thanks to investment in the future hub, CPK (Solidarity Transport Hub).”

CPK is a planned transfer hub between Warsaw and Łódź, which will integrate air, rail and road transport. The development envisages the construction of the Solidarity Airport, located 37 km west of Warsaw, which will be able to handle 45 million passengers a year. The multi-modal project addresses both the industry’s challenges and passengers’ needs by setting new standards in safety control, carbon reduction by use of Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) and artificial intelligence to manage airport operations, while ensuring shorter connection times and seamless journeys.

According to the 2019 IATA Global Passenger Survey, travellers showed a strong preference for technology to enable them to track their baggage in real-time and to expedite their journey through the various airport processes.

“Biometric technology has the power to transform the passenger experience,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO. “The priority now is ensuring there is regulation in place to support the vision of a paperless travel experience that will also ensure that their data is well protected.”

“Accommodating growth by building bigger and bigger airports will be challenging from a public policy perspective,” he underlined. “We look forward to seeing Poland take a leadership role in delivering the NEXTT vision [New Experience Travel Technologies] with the construction of Warsaw’s new airport. It’s the European Union’s first greenfield airport in over a decade.”

Poland’s is hoping that the new airport will be operational by 2027.