The Airports Council International (ACI) is in no doubt over the potential that the Internet of Things (IoT) can bring to the aviation industry.
In fact, Antoine Rostworowski, Director of Airport Customer Experience and Technology at ACI-World, believes it will be a fundamental enabler for a wide range of operational improvements.
As he explains: “IoT is the tool to maximize the exchange of information to make much better decisions, inform all collaborators, be more efficient and offer better service.”
“The key is facilitating collaboration and data exchanges among industry players,” he adds.
One issue is that there is no common systems or data standards between the various stakeholders, which can make integration and sharing data that much harder.
To address this, ACI is driving a global program called Aviation Community Recommended Information Services (ACRIS), a framework to facilitate web-based data exchanges among the stakeholders.
“The challenge is being able to deploy a standard,” he explains. Several projects, such as Airport Collaborative Decision Making (A-CDM) and Seamless Travel already use the ACRIS framework to exchange data among multiple entities.
Data sharing is bringing improvements in other areas as well. Rostworowski cites as an example Smart Security, a joint ACI/IATA project to develop the next generation of passenger screening.
“Checkpoint management solutions enable airports to collect and integrate real-time performance data from checkpoint lanes.
“The networking of security checkpoints also facilitates Centralized Image Processing (CIP). These ideas have been shown to significantly improve throughput, and are indicative of the need for connectivity throughout all airport systems.”
Looking forward Rostworowski expects greater use of identity management, biometrics and passenger data to deliver further benefits.
“Border and security agencies can receive data in real-time in order to make better decisions, and passengers can receive up-to-date checkpoint and queue information to make their journey more predictable and stress-free,” he envisages.
At a local level airports are embracing the IoT by installing Airport Management Systems (AMS), which integrate various airport databases and software to provide a single view of operations.
Rostworowski sees this as the industry moving in the right direction. “This is a key step in developing a smart airport approach, improving decision making and providing the immediate benefit of IoT and the connectivity of everything. The discussion was focused on who owns what data – now it's about what data we need to share to make better decisions.”