Leading airport companies on the subject of virtual reality

Leading airport companies on the subject of virtual reality

The future of the travel and tourism industry will be shaped by a range of disruptive themes, with Virtual Reality (VR) being one of the themes that will have a significant impact on airport businesses.

VR is a technology that immerses the user in an entirely artificial world, which has the illusion of reality. The market remains heavily focused on games, but virtual reality is gaining traction in areas such as social media and live streaming. Consumer-focused VR companies are scrambling to create a semi-mythical killer app that would make VR a mainstream hit. Meanwhile, VR headset manufacturers are increasingly exploring business growth.

In the past, virtual reality was seen as a gimmick in the travel and tourism industry, but a combination of technological advances and macro-economic impacts (such as Covid-19) has meant that virtual reality is now becoming a important element of marketing strategies, the experience economy, employee training and sustainability. The technology will continue to lose its gimmicky reputation as younger generations who are more familiar with the technology (like Gen Z) continue to grow in importance as a consumer segment.


However, not all companies are equal when it comes to their capabilities and investments in the key themes that matter most to their industry. Understanding how companies are positioned and ranked in the most important themes can be a key indicator of their future earnings potential and relative competitive position.

According to GlobalData topical research report, Virtual reality in travel and tourism, major adopters include: Dubai Airports Company, Royal Schiphol Group, Los Angeles World Airports, Fraport, Shanghai International Airport and Sydney Airport Holdings.

Top-ranked company insights    


In 2019, Fraport and AeroGround Flughafen München developed a joint virtual reality (VR) training tool for ground handling operations. Additionally, the Fraport Multimedia Visitor Center opened at Frankfurt Airport in 2021. The center uses advanced forms of technology to create immersive and interactive experiences for visitors. A specific exhibit focuses on virtual reality, where visitors walk through the airport’s baggage handling system to understand and experience the diverse and highly complex operations that take place at the airport.

Los Angeles Global Airports

Los Angeles World Airports has announced a 360-degree virtual tour of LAX during the pandemic. The apparent “first of its kind” virtual airfield tour offers a vivid recreation of an actual visit for communities, students, and airport or aviation enthusiasts around the world. Virtual reality also played a key role in the design of the Midfield Satellite Concourse North Gates project at Los Angeles International Airport. Major design decisions regarding the ramp control tower, end-user sightlines, and vertical circulation transport of elevators and escalators were all planned and tested using virtual reality as a key medium.

Shanghai International Airport

At Shanghai Pudong International Airport, a ground traffic monitoring system involving IoT, big data and virtual reality technologies has been launched. The three-dimensional traffic control platform can supervise the operations of cars, taxis and passenger buses to or from the airport to avoid traffic jams.

To better understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the travel and tourism industry, access GlobalData’s latest topical research report on Virtual Reality in Travel and Tourism.

  • Shenzhen Airport Company
  • Zurich Airport
  • Sydney Airport Operation
  • GMR Group
  • Beijing International Airport
  • Manchester Airports Management
  • Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport
  • AENA

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