Internet of Things can make airports smarter

Internet of Things (IoT) can power the digital transformation of airports and help them achieve more operational efficiency and revenues if they can overcome implementation challenges

Digital transformation is evident in every industry today. The aviation industry has embraced technology to improve customer experience in terms of anytime, anywhere ticket booking. But when it comes to maximizing returns from IoT deployment at the airports, the awareness is quite low. A recent Deloitte survey reveals that only 12% of the airports are prepared to benefit from IoT. On the extreme end, 10% are not even exploring the possibility!

IoT is already playing a key role in numerous crucial activities at an airport—travel information systems, traffic management, baggage, facilities management, and security, to name a few. IoT can help airports not only improve their operational efficiency but also gain competitive advantage and create new streams of revenue. It can be used to enhance traveler experience through biometric-based check-in, personalized boarding processes. Enhanced traveler experience can increase the average time travelers spend in an airport, which can help augment revenues.

Although IoT promises significant benefits, there are implementation challenges that even the most digitally advanced airports face. These include:

Security: The biggest challenges of IoT deployment in an airport are security and privacy. As more and more objects are connected to each other, the surface for cyber attacks increases proportionately.

Infrastructure: The second challenge is related to infrastructure. Large-scale IoT implementation involves a multitude of disparate objects, devices, and systems that must be integrated together to operate as one single ecosystem. Currently, bespoke IoT solutions for airports are not available which makes it difficult to pick the right solution.

Investment: Given the financial crunch the aviation industry is facing globally, most airports are operating on thin margins and reluctant to invest in IoT implementation.

Given the rapid developments in technology and the number of travelers increasing every year, airports must look to harness IoT for the numerous possibilities it offers. Airports can begin by identifying use cases and defining clear business objectives—complete with the investments and RoI—to get started with IoT.

The article has been written by Neetu Katyal, Content and Marketing Consultant

She can be reached on LinkedIn.

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