How IoT makes Airports Smart

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IoT technologies have the potential to make air travel experience much smoother and comfortable. A recent Deloitte report suggests that IoT could improve passenger experience while simultaneously increasing revenue for the operators.

But how can passenger experience can be improved in smart airports?

Passenger experience comprises of two stages – pre-departure and post-arrival. Passengers reach the airport almost two hours before the departure of their flight and they have to encounter numerous checking, long queues and waiting. By implementing IoT technologies, many changes can be done to make travellers’ experience better.

Using advanced biometric systems, the person entering the airport can be identified and let in. Digital IoT beacons strategically placed throughout the airport can make navigation easier and wait time less frustrating. The Beacon uses Bluetooth geolocation, which can provide real-time information on parking availability, airport shuttle schedules, restaurant table availability and shopping stores.

IoT-enabled airports also assist passengers in check-in procedures, take-off and more with digital beacon-linked maps for easier routing and wait-time updates through SMS notifications. The smart airport navigation experience frees up the passengers’ time for them to relax and encourages them to spend more time eating, shopping and doing other leisure activities, thereby generating greater revenue for the airport.

Now-a-days, almost all commercial airports provide free Wi-Fi with high-bandwidth internet access for passengers. IoT can take this passenger experience to a whole new level by implementing augmented reality which transforms airports to intelligent eco-systems by offering location based services to the travellers.

Expenses on lost luggage causes domestic flights up to $3,300 as expenses and up to $1,742 for international flights. They are also key constraints for flyers. Distinct luggage tracking though has become less expensive and plausible with efficient IoT beacons, which connect to airport network and provide real-time information about luggage location. At each point of the journey, passengers can track their luggage. IoT beacon and RFID tag technology also come in handy for airlines when tracking down lost items. This makes cargo make processes simpler, in turn resulting in reduced lost bags and expenditure on passenger reimbursement.

The massive expense of flight delays can also be addressed through IoT implementation, with schemes for weather-related delays available 24/7. Airports also can survey/monitor conditions for take-offs, approach and landings by connecting simple weather monitor beacons across runways to the airport’s larger network. Connected surveillance also provides precise and timely information for passenger-centric apps as well, helping passengers understand the reasons for delays or stoppages delays in their journey better.

Implementation of smart airport IoT technologies creates a higher standard for customer care and overall performance. Linking each device around an airport through a robust IoT cellular network allows the airport to conduct in-depth data collection and performance tracking for improved operations and provides better statistical summaries for airport management.

“The airport is where it all comes together,” says SITA’s Matthys Serfontein. “It’s where information communications technology (ICT) can have the greatest impact, operationally, commercially and in terms of enhancing passenger satisfaction.”

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