Changi Airport looks to bridge manpower gap with autonomous vehicles

by | Feb 24, 2023 | Airports, News, Travel Tech

Changi Airport looks to bridge manpower gap with autonomous vehicles


During the pandemic, the aviation industry lost 2.3 million jobs globally. As the world returns to travel there have been staff shortages worldwide, impacting the service that the sector can offer.

In a recent press release, Changi Airport discussed their experience of manpower shortages which were particularly notable for roles in the airside which the airport believed “if left unaddressed [would] pose a huge constraint for the future of Terminal 5’s operations.”

Ultimately, the airport group envisions a future where:

“A combination of multi-skilled airside workers will be augmented by different types of autonomous vehicles to deliver seamless operations.”

Building towards this goal, Changi Airport Group signed a formal partnership agreement with Aurrigo International plc, a leading provider of airport transport technology, for the continued joint development and testing of the company’s autonomous vehicles.

Identifying the driving of baggage tractors as requiring the highest number of drivers in airside operations, the airport has been exploring the automation of these processes since February 2022.

The multi year partnership builds on existing trials of an autonomous individual baggage trailer, Auto-Dolly, as well as the Auto-Dolly Tug, capable of towing three additional trailers, driving the next phase of development.

As technology progresses, it can automate more processes, bridging the gaps that staff shortages present, and facilitating the redistribution of the work force to optimise overall operations.


On Tuesday, a panel of industry experts will discuss the role of digital transformation in ramping up airport operations in Asia’s post-pandemic recovery era. Get your ticket here.


Article by Jess Brownlow