ECONOMY

Domestic tech in Istanbul Airport offers unique visual experience

Besides being a new center for international aviation, Istanbul Airport, with its exclusive shop concepts, offers a one-of-a-kind shopping experience for travelers. Known as one of the areas where passengers spend most of their time at the airport, duty-free stores operated by Unifree at the mega airport offer unusual visual experiences for passengers. Equipped with domestic technology, the area is also a pioneer in the world.

Right after passing passport control, passengers at the airport are greeted by globally known brands at one of the world's largest duty-free shopping complexes. Unifree, which has formed the world's largest duty-free zone at Istanbul Airport, adds movement, color and entertainment to this area through digital screens. Meanwhile, various video analytical applications promise a pleasant experience to passengers.

Domestic and world-renowned brands and stores are available for millions of visitors in the 53,000-square-meter area under the partnership of Heinemann, the world's largest duty-free operator, and its Turkish partner Unifree. They signed a 25-year agreement with Istanbul Airport operator IGA in mid-2018 to operate the shops. Launched with an investment of around TL 1.2 billion, half of which is equity capital, the duty free shops were earlier reported to have created jobs for nearly 3,000 people. The area, inspired by the Bosporus in its design, is the size of nine football fields.

The giant LED displays installed in the east and west sides of Istanbul Airport's duty-free area, whose whole digital display installation process is carried out by "Sistem 9" on behalf of Unifree, stand out as effective communication channels thanks to their size and location. In the duty-free area, touch wayfinding kiosks enable visitors to find the stores and their directions easily.

The 120-square-meter LED display placed on the front of two large department stores is in line for becoming the largest indoor high-resolution LED display application in Turkey. Unifree IT Coordinator Osman Ayhan explained that they wanted to give their guests a pleasant experience in duty-free areas.

"We support our stores with technological hardware and software," Ayhan said. "At the end of this meticulous process, we decided to move forward with Sistem 9 for digital displays due to its domestic technology and know-how."

Stating that Sistem 9, managing more than 40,000 screens in 22 countries on behalf of its customers, provided solutions to many sectors, and Chairman Kaan Akın said that they were the solution partners for more than 200 institutions.

"We take the information from the institutions and process it in the most accurate way, thus establishing a sustainable link between the brand and target audience," he said.

The new mega Istanbul Airport, whose first phase officially opened last fall and which took over air traffic from the former main Atatürk Airport on April 6, has an annual capacity of 90 million passengers.

At its full annual capacity of 200 million passengers, with the completion of all four phases with six runways by 2028, Istanbul Airport is set to become a global aviation hub, with flights to over 350 destinations around the world. After its completion, the airport will serve some 250 aviation companies worldwide with a capacity for 2,000 planes to take off and land daily.

*Metin Can

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