Silent Airport Meaning
So, what is a silent airport? No, it doesn’t mean you’ll be able to hear a pin drop. Rather, that an increasing number of airports are no longer making airport wide announcements.
What’s important to know
Two guests of Springwood, who had flown out of Gatwick, were caught out on their return flight from Porto airport. The unlucky travellers missed their flight as the result of not realising that Porto is one of the growing number of silent airports.
This was in spite of having arrived at the airport 3 hours before their flight time.
When they had to re-book their flight for the following day, they were told that it often happens!
Why are airports going silent?
The idea is to make airports calmer and less frenetic.
We are all familiar with the booming announcements, often in several languages completing for our attention.
So, lose track of time browsing in the Duty Free? Too bad! Don’t expect a ‘last call’. If you fail to get to the Gate in time your flight will leave without you.
The idea is to reduce noise pollution, such as airport-wide announcements, without sacrificing timely and helpful updates of information.
However, following our guest’s experience, one cannot help wondering if this may also be a ploy to sell more flights. As we know carriers often overbook, knowing the likelihood is not all booked passengers will present for boarding.
In their favour though, airports are increasingly adopting new technology helping passengers navigate their way through the airport and reach their Gate in good time.
Silent Airports new navigation tools
In June 2018, Helsinki Airport in Finland — a country where the tourism slogan is, aptly, “Silence, Please” — became the most recent airport to adopt the silent concept.
Improved flight information display systems, interactive kiosks and the development of Apps are changing the way airports communicate with passengers.
Its multimedia, multifunction systems are designed to provide efficient information services and indoor navigation.
At Munich Airport, InfoGate kiosks allow for face-to-face, albeit video-based, conversation with a live customer service representative in the traveller’s language of choice. Also, documents can be scanned, printed and exchanged between the two parties.
The provision of interactive signs allows passengers to tap and get a ‘You are here’ displayed on the plan of the airport, with directions and an estimate of how long it will take to arrive at your destination.
List of Silent Airports
We’re just starting to build a list of Silent Airports. Here’s where we’ve got to so far:
London City Airport
Gatwick Silent Airport Policy
If you are flying from Gatwick. At the time of this article Gatwick was not operating a silent airport policy but, are likely to follow the trend at any time. So it will be worth checking before you check-in.
App App and Away
Another clue to Gatwick’s probable plans to go silent is the launch of their App which they brand as App App and Away because this negates the need for audio announcements.
Gatwick’s new passenger app won Mobile Innovation of the Year at the National Technology awards in May, and also picked up Mobile App of the Year at the Real IT awards.
Under the slogan App App and Away, Gatwick’s first passenger app launched at the start of the year and provides personalised, real-time flight updates, gate information and check-in and security queue times straight to your phone.
The new app means that holidaymakers and business travellers can enjoy a more seamless experience. The App boasts a range of features including intuitive maps that guide passengers through the airport using 2,000 navigation beacons located throughout terminal buildings.
I have downloaded Gatwick’s App and can report that it is easy to use and very helpful. Happy Flying.