SITA joined forces earlier this year with seven of the major European airports to provide APIs and datasets for the ‘Recoding Aviation’ Hackathon in Berlin.
Initiated by Schiphol Airport, and supported by Airports Council International (ACI), this was the first time in history that the airports of Copenhagen, Munich, Frankfurt, Gatwick, Geneva, Stockholm, and Amsterdam have come together to support such a venture.
The hackathon’s aim was to see what innovative passenger flow and passenger experience ideas could be conjured up over a weekend by industry and non-industry hackers using airport and flight data provided.
SITA was privileged to be a part of the event, and provided its own set of Application Programming interfaces(APIs) for flight information, baggage and day of travel. See www.developer.aero.
This collaborative approach is also a sign of how the European airport industry is a community and how its real business values go beyond competition, all the way to finding the next big idea to improve the passenger experience and then making it happen.
Inês Rebelo, Communications Coordinator, ACI EUROPE
According to Inês Rebelo, Communications Coordinator ACI EUROPE: ‘’As a supporting partner of Recoding Aviation, ACI EUROPE found this initiative irresistible. The airport industry has everything to gain from it!
“An event like this shows how Europe’s airports are passenger-centric and how they keep looking for impressive, innovative ways of enhancing the passenger experience.
“We WERE delighted to see SEVEN European airport operators come together to drive the creation of out-of-the-box digital solutions to the passenger journey for the benefit of travelers, with the help of young coders and developers.
“This collaborative approach is also a sign of how the European airport industry is a community and how its real business values go beyond competition, all the way to finding the next big idea to improve the passenger experience and then making it happen.”
Executive teams along with innovation managers and techies from the airports congregated to support and observe the teams who comprised developers, designers, students, start-ups and other hackathon devotees.
Some ground-breaking ideas were hacked together rapidly based on a set of challenges to improve passenger flow and enhance passengers’ experience before they arrived at the airport, at the airport, transferring between airports and arrival at the destination airport.
An array of technology companies also partnered the event providing technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning applications, maps and wayfinding, Bluetooth beacons, natural language understanding and generation and emotion analytics.
Range of ideas
Using these technologies along with the APIs and data provided by the airports and SITA, the range of innovative ideas covered everything from baggage management, queue and passenger flow management, virtual assistants, social interaction, airport retail and more.
The overall prize went to a team called Unstuck, who showed how AI can be used to intelligently manage security queues and allow passengers to select appropriate security appointments to suit their flight schedules.
The SITA Partner Prize went to a team called Joukana, who developed an app to bring peace of mind to passengers as they disembark from the aircraft and want to know if their luggage has arrived with them.
If not, users would have instant access to the help and support they need to remedy the situation. SITA’s BagJourney, FlightInfo, Beacon Registry and WorldTracer APIs featured in this useful app.
Again, as with all hackathons, the event provided the ideal environment for some innovative hackers from SITA's own PSE (Products and Solutions Engineering) division to broaden their technical, industry and networking horizons.
Hackathons are becoming a standard fixture as part of the experience that SITA provides to its graduates, and indeed, to its many seasoned developers.
An offshoot of this airport gathering was the opportunity for members of the Airport Community Recommended Information Services (ACRIS) Working Group to meet up in this informal environment and to present their flight data in the latest ACRIS format.
Established in 2009 by the ACI, the working group was set up to develop information sharing standards to airports and apply service oriented principles and airport domain knowledge to information services development. See ‘ACI and SITA – a long standing relationship.’
Also see Airport Business.