The National Academies

ACRP 01-33 [Final]

A Primer to Prepare for the Connected Airport and the Internet of Things

  Project Data
Funds: $400,000
Research Agency: Texas A&M Transportation Institute
Principal Investigator: Johanna Zmud
Effective Date: 6/22/2016
Completion Date: 3/30/2018

The International Telecommunications Union defines the Internet of Things (IoT) as a global infrastructure for the information society, enabling advanced services by interconnecting (physical and virtual) things based on existing and evolving interoperable information and communication technologies.  We know it also as connecting devices together in new ways through the Internet. One such example is indoor navigation whereby passengers are guided to points within the airport environment based on IoT devices.
We are seeing a proliferation of these devices in the airport environment. IoT devices are used to manage airport facilities for such functions as ambient temperature control, security, emergency response, and safety. Airports, airlines, and other stakeholders are using innovative technologies and/or the data collected from the use of those technologies by their passengers to enhance the user experience and add value to their brand. It’s not just data collected within the airport environment, but the airport is connected to systems outside of its physical boundaries. Further explanation of interconnected systems can be read at https://hbr.org/2014/11/how-smart-connected-products-are-transforming-competition. There are obstacles to implementation of connected devices and to data sharing, such as a lack of understanding of what the IoT means, infrastructure requirements, demographic differences in the acceptance and use of connected devices, which entities have what data and information, privacy concerns, regulations, and security among others. There is a vast amount of data generated that can benefit multiple parties, and the challenge is breaking down silos to promote sharing and better use and control of IoT technologies and data. IoT devices will continue to be connected in new and innovative ways to enhance airport operations and passenger experience. Further research is needed to help airport operators and their stakeholders understand and implement the IoT.
The objective of this research was to develop a primer for airport operators and stakeholders on the Internet of things (IoT) within the airport environment to leverage current and emerging technologies. 

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