Dec 12.2022

Exploring the Need for IoT in Airports

Exploring the Need for IoT in Airports

In the digital age, airports are becoming more connected than ever before. An airport aims to provide travelers with a superior experience and generate revenue by tapping into efficiencies that come with this new technology-driven world we live in now, where everything seems connective—even air travel! To do so requires collaboration between stakeholders, but achieving these goals isn't always easy when you're working towards something large like transforming your entire facility from the top down--a process that takes time and money (and resources). Therefore, it's important not just what strategies succeed but also needs careful planning beforehand because sometimes "quick wins" aren’t enough if they come at too high a price.

The aviation industry has seen its awareness of IoT grow over recent years, but many organizations still need to be aware of this technology's opportunities. For example, according to a survey by Deloitte, 78% of airlines are yet to implement IoT into their business models. Furthermore, only 12 percent felt like some form of preparation was underway, while 10 percent were not even exploring what could come from using Internet-connected devices within airports themselves!

So if you want your airport to be "smart," then it makes sense to start with some basics about what exactly entails being Internet Peer.

IoT applications at Airports

The internet of things (IoT) is an architecture for bringing together different technologies in a specific way to do something new. The most important element of IoT, as the name suggests-IoT-, are these physical devices connected by networks and sensors that collect data about their environment and then send it back out again where we can use this information through software algorithms or automatic responses at an airport such as

  • Check-in
One of the most frustrating aspects of air travel is lost luggage. According to a report from SITA, an aviation IT provider, the global mishandled baggage rate has spiked by 24% to 4.35 bags per thousand passengers in 2021. While most lost bags are eventually reunited with their owners, the process can be time-consuming and stressful. 

IoT applications are helping to solve this problem by tracking luggage from the moment it's checked in until it arrives at its destination. For example, Delta Airlines is testing a system that uses RFID tags to track bags throughout their journey, from check-in to loading onto the correct plane to arrival at baggage claim. This system would not only make lost bags a thing of the past, but it would also free up staff to provide better customer service elsewhere in the airport.

  • Security
IoT applications are being tested in airport security screening areas. For example, one application uses computer vision and machine learning algorithms to screen carry-on baggage for potential threats. Developed by Israeli startup UVeye, the system is already being used by Heathrow Airport in London. UVeye's technology is also used to inspect vehicles for explosives and contraband at border crossings worldwide.

  • Maintenance
British Airways is using predictive maintenance to fix aircraft before they break down. By collecting data on everything from engine performance to cabin temperature, British Airways can identify minor issues before they turn into major problems.

Goals for IoT implementation at Airports

With so many moving parts, an airport is a perfect place to implement IoT applications. Airport stakeholders should consider the benefits of implementing IoT in three categories: operational efficiency, strategic differentiation, and new revenue.

  • Operational Efficiency
One of the main benefits of implementing IoT at airports is operational efficiency. By collecting data from various airport systems and devices, airport operators can gain valuable insights into how the airport runs and areas that require improvements.

If an airport has a problem with runway congestion, it can use data from the air traffic control tower and weather sensors to develop a plan to minimize delays. Or, if an airport wants to reduce its carbon footprint, it could use data from building management systems to find ways to reduce its energy consumption.

  • Strategic Differentiation
In a highly competitive industry like aviation, airports need to find ways to stand out from the crowd. Thanks to the vast amount of data collected through IoT applications, airports can now use it to understand their passengers better and offer tailored services that meet their needs. This level of personalization can be a significant differentiating factor for airports and could lead to increased passenger satisfaction and loyalty.

  • Ability to Generate New Revenue Streams
Finally, airports can use the data collected by IoT applications to generate new revenue streams. This data can be sold to interested parties or used to develop new products and services. For example, the data collected can be used to develop a mobile app that helps passengers navigate the airport or find restaurants and shops. By monetizing this data creatively, airports can tap into new revenue sources and become more financially sustainable.

How Airports Stand to Gain from IoT

Airports can use IoT to improve efficiency, differentiate their strategy, and generate new revenue. These benefits of IoT can be applied to any aspect of airport operations. However, since airport operations are typically split into two, air side and land side, here are vital areas airports stand to gain from IoT.

  • Traveler Experience
One area where IoT is making a significant impact is the traveler experience. Between check-in, security, and boarding, there are many opportunities for things to go wrong. But with IoT, airports can keep track of travelers throughout their journey and alert them of any potential delays. This is mainly seen whenever a passenger's flight is delayed, and they are notified via the airport's mobile app so that they can make alternate arrangements. Or if their luggage is lost, owners are notified as soon as it has been found. This real-time tracking and notifications help make the traveler's experience smoother and more enjoyable.

For instance, as seen at Hong Kong International Airport, where beacon technology sends real-time updates, such as flight status, weather conditions, nearby attractions, etc., to passengers through their mobile apps. This keeps passengers informed and allows them to spend more time – and money – at the airport before their flights.

  • Airport operations experience
IoT is also changing the way airport operations are managed. With so many moving parts, getting a holistic view of what's happening at an airport is challenging. But with IoT, all of the data collected by sensors and devices is aggregated into one central location allowing airport operations staff to see where bottlenecks are occurring and make changes accordingly. Currently, In Amsterdam Airport, Schiphol, sensors track aircraft movements on the ground and in the air. The data collected by these sensors is processed by an AI system that produces a real-time airport map used by the control tower to direct aircraft movements, thus improving traffic flow. As a result of this IoT solution, Amsterdam Airport Schiphol has been able to reduce taxi times by 10%.

The Future of Flying

Airports are increasingly turning to the internet of things to help streamline processes and create a better experience for travelers. Many potential IoT applications exist at airports, from asset tracking to baggage handling; therefore, by staying up-to-date on the latest trends and best practices, airport administrators can ensure they are making the most of this technology. And as more and more people fly each year, investing in IoT solutions will become even more important for airports looking to stay ahead of the competition.

For IoT suppliers and manufacturers who want to be a part of this airport revolution, register for a free account today at IoT2Market and get connected with leading solution providers.

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