At the Paris Air Show, aerospace giant EADS teamed up with European tech consulting firm Altran to figure out a a concept for a hypothetical airport of 2050. It's gonna be so friendly and efficient that they're going to call it — wait for it — "Friend-lean."
Assuming we're not all just using interdimensional transporter systems by 2050, the amount of people trying to pack themselves onto airplanes is likely going to increase from about 6.5 million passengers per day to 44 million passengers per day. Just imagine the security line, ugh.
To deal with so many people, future airports are going to have to be highly optimized, and the Friend-lean concept relies on multitudes of small transportation pods, highly networked with personalized schedules that can take you directly to your gate or anywhere else you want to go in the airport. There's no waiting and no getting lost, the pod simply takes care of everything while you sit back and relax:
The efficiency of this system isn't meant to just keep up with increasing congestion. Instead, it's designed to completely revolutionize one of the most time-consuming parts of air travel. "Under this concept, even if you would arrive 10, 15 minutes before the flight to the airport, the passenger would be able to take the flight." Ten minutes, huh? I guess that means that by 2050, the TSA will have sniffed every single human orifice in existence and we'll all just be able to get on the damn plane already.
Part of the idea here is to go beyond just the airport itself, integrating information and transportation systems much more tightly all the way down the line, from your house through to your destination. It's possible that by 2050, those same transportation pods will offer door-to-door service, automatically showing up at your house, taking care of your luggage, and subjecting you to an MRI on the ride in. It'll be fast, convenient, and 100% less gropey. The future sure sounds nice, doesn't it?