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IoT in airports: How is it going to improve our travel experiences?

The Importance of IoT in Airports

Airports are one of the busiest and most complex transportation hubs in the world. The need for safety, security, and efficiency has driven the adoption of new technologies in airports. One of the most transformative technologies in recent years has been the Internet of Things (IoT).

What is IoT?

The Internet of Things (IoT) is a network of physical devices, vehicles, and other objects that are embedded with sensors, software, and network connectivity, which enables these objects to collect and exchange data. IoT has been applied in many industries such as automotive, medical and we’re even starting to see IoT in online gaming, and the aviation industry is no exception


IoT technologies, including wearables, sensors and even virtual reality are going to become a major part of our travelling experiences– in fact, nearly a quarter of the world’s airlines have already got on board with IoT.

When you go to an airport you can already see how technology is making an impact. Online check-ins have eliminated the need for standing in endless queues and body scanners are used as a security measure.

So what’s next for IoT in airports?

Despite the current technologies, our trips to the airport rarely go without some sort of inconvenience. Bags are still misplaced (sometimes even lost) and navigating your way around a crowded airport can be like trying to find your way out of a maze.

This is where IoT can play its part. By tactically placing sensors in certain locations around the airport it’s possible to check the flow of traffic in specific areas; as well as the location of our luggage. There’s also scope to aid security. This includes biometric tokens and wearables for staff to increase efficiency when accessing certain areas of the airport.

IoT adoption in Airports

A recent SITA study outlined the role that IoT can play in our airport experiences. The study found that nearly a third of all airports worldwide were already utilising the Internet of Things by placing sensors in key locations around their buildings. Here are some figures that show how 225 airports plan to use sensors over the next three years:

  • 66% security check-points
  • 61% bag-drop areas
  • 60% retail areas
  • 54% boarding gates
  • 52% baggage reclaim

These sensors will enable airport management to get real-time updates and understand how they can improve traveller experience. They’ll be able to see things such as whether extra staff is needed at check-in, which will undoubtedly go a long way to improving the service we receive at airports.

It’s not just sensors that airports are deploying

Sensors aren’t the only way airports can use IoT to improve their quality of service. Travelers with a smartphone will be able to use location-aware applications to help guide them to their gate; 71% of airports in the survey indicated that this was something they’d be looking to implement this in the near future.

Virtual reality and artificial intelligence will also play a role, enabling quicker, more accurate real-time data for arrival and departure times.

How IoT is Revolutionising Airports

IoT has revolutionised the way airports operate, improving the safety and operational efficiency of the entire airport system. Here are some ways IoT is making a difference:

1. Passenger Flow Management

Airports are using IoT sensors to monitor passenger flow in order to identify and mitigate overcrowding, decrease wait times and enhance the passenger experience. Real-time data analysis allows airports to predict passenger traffic and better allocate resources.

2. Baggage Handling

IoT sensors can be employed to trace and observe the position of passenger bags. Utilising RFID technology, airport staff are able to accurately pinpoint and follow the location of passengers’ luggage, lowering the odds of misplaced items. Additionally, this allows airlines to optimize their baggage management systems, improving efficiency while reducing expenses.

3. Maintenance and Safety

IoT sensors can be utilised for monitoring the performance of airport equipment and infrastructure. This enables airport maintenance teams to proactively detect and address potential issues. The Internet of Things can support airport security by allowing for real-time monitoring of important locations and faster emergency response.

Travel is going to become more and more connected with smart airports

In conclusion, the adoption of IoT technology in airports has brought about significant improvements in the safety, efficiency, and overall passenger experience. By leveraging IoT, airports can optimise their operations, reduce costs, and ensure a more seamless travel experience for passengers.

IF you’re interested in deploying IoT sims in your organisation, whether it’s an airport or not, get in touch for a free consultation today.