The Israel Airports Authority (IAA) has announced that Israel’s main international gateway, Ben Gurion Airport, will become a digital airport in 2023, in a bid to shorten lines for check-in and eliminate the initial security check.
The IAA says digitization will make it possible to turn procedures for a flight overseas into an independent “touch and play” process, with more than NIS 50 million allocated to the digital airport project.
Eyal Carlin, Tourism Commissioner for North America, Israel Ministry of Tourism, said: “It’s exciting to see projects come to life that will assist our visitors and allow them to enter and exit our country, stress-free. This news from the IAA is important as travellers from North America continue to travel to Israel and will continue to do so as they plan their 2023 vacations. We’ll now have a shorter, more productive yet still safe and secure check-in routine at the airport which is a huge attraction for travellers.”
Passengers will be able to weigh their suitcases at new kiosks, pay for excess weight as necessary according to the requirements of the different airline procedures, and print baggage labels and stickers. The suitcase sticker will be scanned next to conveyor belts and baggage will go from there to the aircraft hold.
Passengers will only go through a security check after completing the check-in process for their flight, either online or by using one of the independent kiosks that will be installed in the airport’s departures halls. Most of the process required for leaving the country will be done online and through digital means, maximizing comfort and accessibility for the passengers.
In addition, within the next few days, the IAA plans to expand the hand luggage inspection area to improve waiting times for those travelling without check-in baggage. In the Departures Hall, further technology will be installed on 24 hand luggage inspection stands to speed up procedures.
Gal Hana, Director Counsel of Canada for the Israel Ministry of Tourism, said: “We’re delighted that Israel’s main international airport, Ben Gurion, will be adding technologies to make the entry and exit in and out of our beautiful country more seamless and efficient. As ‘Start Up Nation’ it’s only fitting that we stay up to date with these innovations and we look forward to seeing these improvements added at Ben Gurion as we continue to see an increase in tourism numbers month over month.”
The IAA estimates that 18 million passengers will pass through the airport in 2022, rising to 24 million next year. The IAA says that due to the planned digitalization process, times will be shortened for passengers doing an online and in-person check in.