Uses of Airport Digital Signage

Signs or signages are a common occurrence in major transportation hubs, including airports. These signages have always been crucial to the operational efficiency of airports. More and more airports, however, are finding ways to modernize their establishments and their operations. One of which, of course, is having airport digital signage. So what are the uses of digital signage in airports, and how can they help?


What are the different types of signs at the airport?

Airports use a variety of signs to ensure smooth and efficient passenger movement and daily operations, as well as to provide essential information to passengers, visitors, and employees, alike. These signs can be broadly categorized into the following types:


Informational Signs

  • Flight Information Displays (FIDs): These are electronic systems that provide real-time updates on flight departures and arrivals, including gate assignments, boarding times, delays, and cancellations. FIDs are usually found in prominent locations such as terminal entrances, check-in areas, and near gates.
  • Baggage Claim Signs: These direct passengers to the correct carousels for retrieving their checked baggage. They often display flight numbers, and sometimes, the originating city.
  • Security Checkpoint Signs: They provide instructions on the security screening process, including which items need to be removed from bags, liquids restrictions, and the location of security checkpoints. They may also include wait-time estimates for passing through security.


Directional or Location Signs

  • Wayfinding Signs: These signs provide clear directions to major airport facilities and locations, such as check-in counters, gates, baggage claim areas, restrooms, and exits. They are often color-coded and accompanied by universally recognized symbols to aid understanding for international passengers.
  • Gate Signs: These are located near boarding gates. These signs display gate numbers and usually information about departing and arriving flights. Gate signs may also include information on boarding times and zones.
  • Transfer/Transit Signs: These help passengers find their way to connecting flights. They help indicate directions to transfer desks, transit areas, and shuttle services between terminals.

Service Signs

  • Amenities Signs: These indicate the location of airport amenities like lounges, restaurants, shops, ATMs, currency exchange counters, and charging stations. These kinds of service signs also help passengers find services that can make their airport experience more comfortable.
  • Restroom Signs: They direct passengers to restrooms, including accessible restrooms and family restrooms. They typically feature universal symbols for men’s, women’s, and family facilities.
  • Accessibility Signs: These signs, on the other hand, help passengers with disabilities locate elevators, ramps, accessible restrooms, and other facilities designed to accommodate their needs. They often include Braille and tactile elements.


Regulatory Signs

  • Customs and Immigration Signs: These signs guide international passengers through customs and immigration processes. They indicate where to queue for passport control, customs declaration areas, and visa checkpoints.
  • Prohibited Items Signs: These list items that are not allowed past security checkpoints or on board the aircraft, such as weapons, certain liquids, and hazardous materials. They are often illustrated with images for the clarity of the audience.
  • Health and Safety Signs: These safety signs inform passengers about health regulations, such as requirements for face masks or quarantine procedures. They provide instructions for emergency situations, such as how to use emergency exits or locate first aid stations.


Warning and Instructional Signs

  • Emergency Exit Signs: These warning signs highlight the locations of emergency exits. They are often illuminated and positioned to be visible in low-light conditions.
  • Instructional Signs: Meanwhile, these signs provide specific instructions on how to use airport facilities. This includes moving walkways, escalators, and elevators. They may also give instructions for other safety procedures, such as how to proceed during an emergency evacuation.


Parking and Transportation Signs

  • Parking Lot Signs: These direct drivers to parking areas, indicating short-term and long-term parking zones, if applicable. They usually include information on rates, parking space availability, and payment methods for the users.
  • Shuttle and Transport Signs: These signs indicate pick-up and drop-off points for airport shuttles, taxis, ride-shares (e.g., Uber, Lyft), buses, and other public transportation options. They may also provide schedules and routes for shuttles and public transit.


Advertising and Promotional Signs

  • Advertisements: Display ads are for various products, services, and local attractions close to the airport. They are placed strategically in high-traffic areas to attract the attention of travelers and tourists.
  • Promotional Signs: These highlight special offers and promotions from airport vendors, such as discounts at duty-free shops or restaurant specials. They are designed to encourage passengers to make purchases or use specific services within the vicinity of the airport.


Should airports switch to digital signage?

The transformation sector is keeping up with the modern world as it tries to transform digitally and implement contemporary styles and technologies. For airports, switching to digital signage can offer several advantages over traditional static or paper signs. Of course, the potential challenges should also be considered and addressed.


Advantages of airport digital signage

  • Real-Time Information Updates: Digital signs can be updated in real-time to provide the most current flight information, gate changes, delays, weather updates, and emergency alerts.
  • Flexibility: Multiple messages, dynamic content, and various types of information can be displayed on a single screen. This reduces clutter and the need for multiple static signs in a single area.
  • Enhanced Passenger Experience; Touchscreen kiosks or screens can provide a personalized passenger experience—from wayfinding assistance to information on services and other interactive features. In fact, according to a survey, 72% of travelers find digital signage in airports to help navigate their journey.
  • Multilingual Support: Digital signs can cycle through multiple languages, helping non-English-speaking passengers navigate the airport more easily.
  • Centralized Control: Airport staff can manage and update digital signs from a central system, ensuring consistency all over the vicinity. Of course, this also reduces the need for physical changes to signage.
  • Cost Savings Over Time: While initial setup costs for digital signage are higher, long-term maintenance and update costs are lower compared to replacing and updating static signs.
  • Dynamic Advertising: Airports can display targeted ads on digital screens, which can be tailored based on the time of day, location, and passenger demographics.
  • Interactive Ads: Digital signage allows for more engaging and interactive advertisements. Digital Signage Today reports that  75% of travelers recall seeing a digital billboard within a month. This means interactive ads on digital signage can potentially increase ad revenue and exposure, compared to traditional static ads.
  • Modern Look: Airport digital signage provides a sleek, modern appearance that can enhance the airport’s overall aesthetic. This also improves the perception of an airport and its values among audiences.
  • Branding Opportunities: Airports can use digital signage to reinforce branding and showcase local attractions, events, and culture, depending on their country or region.


Potential challenges of digital signage in airports

  • Installation Expenses: The initial cost of purchasing and installing digital signage can be high.
  • Infrastructure Requirements: Upgrading infrastructure to support digital signage, including power and data connectivity, can add to the costs.
  • Technical Issues: Digital systems can be prone to technical issues such as software glitches, hardware failures, or connectivity problems. This may require a quick resolution to avoid disrupting passenger information flow.
  • Maintenance: Regular maintenance is required to ensure screens are functioning correctly and displaying accurate information.
  • Dedicated Staff Training: Airport staff need training to manage and operate digital signage systems effectively.
  • Content Management: Developing and managing content for digital signs can be resource-intensive.
  • Accessibility Concerns: Digital signs must be designed with accessibility in mind. This is to ensure that information is clear and usable for all passengers, including those with disabilities.
  • Consistency: Transitioning to airport digital signage should maintain consistency with existing wayfinding systems to avoid confusion during the transition period.

What are the various uses of airport digital signage?

Digital signage in airports can be applied in numerous ways to enhance operations, improve passenger experience, create an engaging and accessible environment, and keep up with modern travelers and tourists.

Here are various applications or use cases for airport digital signage:


Flight Information Displays
Digital signage can go beyond the usual flight information displays (FIDs). Digital signage can continuously update and display real-time flight statuses, including boarding times, delays, cancellations, gate changes, and estimated departure or arrival times. This ensures accurate and up-to-date flight data at all times. Touchscreen displays can also allow passengers to search for their specific flight by entering flight numbers or destinations. They can check their flight status, find the gate number, and get an estimated time to reach the gate.

These signs are typically placed in high-traffic areas such as check-in counters, security checkpoints, gate areas, and baggage claim zones to ensure that passengers are always informed.


Wayfinding and Navigation
Airport digital signage can create interactive maps. Digital kiosks with interactive maps help passengers navigate the airport by providing step-by-step directions to various locations. Passengers can touch a destination on the map, such as a specific gate, restroom, or restaurant, and the display will show the shortest route to get there.

Digital directional signs guide passengers to essential locations. This includes gates, check-in counters, baggage claim areas, security checkpoints, lounges, and exits. These signs can dynamically change to direct the flow of passengers based on real-time conditions, such as directing people to alternate security checkpoints if one is congested.


Baggage Handling Information
Airport digital signage can also enhance baggage claim and handling. Digital signs can inform passengers about the status of their checked baggage, including carousel assignments and expected delivery times, reducing anxiety and helping them locate their luggage efficiently.


Security and Safety Information
Digital signage can display the current wait times at various security checkpoints, helping passengers choose the shortest line. Instructions for preparing for security screening (e.g., removing shoes, laptops, and liquids) can also be displayed to expedite the process and make security checks seamless.

Meanwhile, in emergencies, digital signs can immediately switch to display evacuation routes, emergency exits, and safety instructions. This ensures clear communication during critical situations, guiding passengers to safety efficiently.


Passenger Services and Amenities
Digital signage can inform passengers about the location and availability of amenities. This includes lounges, Wi-Fi zones, charging stations, restrooms, and prayer rooms. They can also highlight special services like luggage wrapping or concierge desks.

Of course, digital signs can contribute to queue management. They can manage queues by displaying estimated wait times for check-in, customs, and immigration. They can also direct passengers to counters with shorter lines, balancing the load and reducing wait times.


Advertising and Promotions
Digital signage can display advertisements tailored to the audience in specific areas of the airport. For instance, ads for luxury goods might be shown in lounges, while family-friendly attractions could be advertised near gates used by families.

Airports can also use digital signage to highlight special offers from airport retailers and restaurants to drive sales. Digital signs can promote discounts, special menu items, or limited-time offers. This will encourage passengers to explore airport shops and eateries.


Entertainment and Engagement
Airport digital signage can enhance the entertainment experience and engagement among passengers like no other sign. This is because digital screens can provide entertainment, broadcast news, weather updates, sports, and live TV in waiting areas and other facilities. This keeps passengers engaged and helps reduce the perceived waiting time.

Some other digital displays, particularly in family-friendly zones, can also offer interactive games for children or informational quizzes about travel, geography, and local culture. Not only will this provide entertainment, but it will also provide education simultaneously.


Accessibility and Multilingual Support
Digital signages can also contribute greatly to the overall accessibility of an airport. Digital signs can rotate through multiple languages to assist non-English-speaking passengers. This ensures they receive essential information in their preferred language. Digital signage can also include features like Braille or high-contrast text for the visually impaired, and audio output for those with hearing impairments. This helps ensure accessibility for all passengers.


Environmental and Weather Information
Of course, digital signage can be used to make weather updates and environmental information more engaging. Displaying current weather conditions and forecasts for both the departure and destination cities helps passengers prepare accordingly. This information can be particularly useful for international travelers. Digital signs can display additional environmental data such as air quality indices, travel advisories, and other relevant information that might affect travel plans.


Event and Local Information
Event announcements can be displayed on digital signage. Digital signs can inform passengers about local events, cultural attractions, and entertainment options at their destination, enhancing their travel experience and encouraging tourism.

Airports may also host events such as live music performances, art exhibitions, or cultural showcases. Digital signage can promote these events to enhance the passenger experience.


Customer Feedback and Surveys
Interactive digital signage can also make way for interactive surveys. Digital kiosks can collect real-time feedback from passengers about their airport experience, service quality, and facilities. This information helps airport management make data-driven decisions to improve services.


Operational Efficiency for Staff
And, of course, airport digital signage can be used for internal staff communication. In areas not accessible to passengers, digital signs can be used to communicate important operational updates to staff. This includes changes in schedules, shift assignments, and emergency procedures.

Overall, digital signage serves as a versatile tool in airports. It offers improved communication, a better passenger experience, increased operational efficiency, enhanced engagement, and a better transportation hub altogether. 


SOLUM Professional Display as Airport Digital Signage

Developed by SOLUM Group, the SOLUM Professional Display goes beyond the ordinary signage. This solution allows users to use high-performance visual content and campaigns to engage with the audience and elevate the environment.

Here are some of its key features that can be beneficial as airport digital signage:


  • High-Definition Visuals
  • 32” FHD Digital Bulletin Board Solutions
  • 43”/55”/65”/75”/86” UHD High-Performance Advertising Screens
  • Dynamic Content Control
  • Seamless Connectivity for Campaign Flexibility


With diverse applications and exceptional advertising capabilities, the SOLUM Professional Display is the perfect addition to airports.

Modernize airports with SOLUM Professional Display now! Talk to SOLUM experts and learn how this digital signage solution can level up operational efficiency and the transportation hub experience.

SOLUM Marketing


airport digital signage, digital signage in airports
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